We want to make our homes energy efficient. Builders now use spray-foam insulation as it fills spaces completely and produces the best results. It is said to create an efficient building envelope. But builders don’t always mention about the health hazards this spray foam causes. Here are the major health problems that may occur due to spray foam insulation.
1. You can have respiratory or neurological problems. These conditions can be so serious that you may need to change the house. The process of spraying foam insulation involves a chemical reaction between two liquid compounds. Most spray foams contain isocyanates. These are powerful irritants to the mucous membranes of the eyes and gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. It can cause long-term sensitization.
2. Other chemicals present in the spray foam like polyols can cause asthma, lung damage, sensitization, and breathing problems. It can also cause skin and eye irritation. Some people exposed to the spray foam become so sensitized that they react instantly when they enter a house having spray foam insulation.
3. If sprayed-in foam catches fire, then harmful fumes are exposed in the air. Improper installation of spray foam insulation can cause a fire.
4. The chemicals used in spray foam are said to have high global warming effects. Closed-cell foam is very dense and so is a more effective insulator than open-cell foam. However, they have very high level of global warming potential.
Most of these chemicals pose a health risk if they are not installed properly. They are also hard to remove and you so if you think of using another type of insulation for your house you might not be able to do it easily. Your spray home installer won’t disclose everything to you. Therefore, you need to find out more information about this type of insulation.
So these are great examples of what not to do. What we suggest is to speak with Insulation Wizards! They do a great job with Spray Foam Insulation and these are the guys we would want doing the work in our house!