Nowadays, more and more Americans are becoming leery of the chemical compounds used in everyday materials, and rightfully so. From dangerous lead paint to suspicious BPAs in water bottles, it’s no wonder individuals are taking the time to learn more about the substances used to produce common household goods.
In our culture of increasing awareness, many homeowners and builders alike have recently scrutinized spray foam chemicals. Some even wonder whether spray insulation is safe for residential use.
Although it’s true that improper use of spray foam chemicals poses certain risks, this does not mean that spray foam should never be used where people reside. Here’s a brief explanation of why spray foam chemicals should not be discontinued, but instead applied with caution and common sense:
Spray Foam Risks During Application Process
Mixing spray foam at home creates the potential for exposure to chemical and materials that the EPA has deemed hazardous, including isocyanates, vapors, aerosols, and dust. In particular, exposure to isocyanates has been linked to breathing and skin troubles.
However, following safety protocol can prevent contact with these materials during the installation process. Various spray foam insulation equipment kits include safety masks, goggles, bodysuits, and lung protection. After the spray foam has been installed, homeowners and pets should be kept out of the space for at least 24 hours to ensure proper ventilation and dispersion of hazardous materials.
Spray Foam Risks After Curing
Undoubtedly, improper spray foam installation can lead to health risks, just as improper use of an automobile is hazardous. But what about after the spray foam has been installed?
When spray foam has been given the appropriate amount of time to cure, the substance is considered inert. No significant long-term effects have been documented from exposure to cured spray foam. However, if cured spray foam endures high heat or friction from grinding or demolition, toxins could be released again. As such, experts recommend that removal or remodeling be handled with care and protective equipment to limit health risk.
The Bottom Line
Like many other substances and tools, when installed or handled improperly, spray foam chemicals can pose risk to individuals. However, properly cured spray foam is considered safe, and thus widely used in schools, homes, hospitals, and other environments where people spend their days.
Since up to 40% of a building’s energy loss is caused by poor air filtration, safe application of technologies like spray foam can help reduce waste and create a healthier planet for future generations. Before discounting spray foam as unsafe, take time to do research so that your own spray foam insulation project is a risk-free experience.
For more information or to rent spray foam equipment, contact Spray Foam Systems today!