Spray Polyurethane Foam Poses Health Risks. Do you have spray polyurethane foam installed in your home? Evidence suggests that spray polyurethane foam insulation poses a number of serious health risks, potentially causing respiratory and breathing problems, skin irritation and neurological issues. Our firm is investigating potential lawsuits on behalf of homeowners who have spray foam insulation such as Demilec’s Sealection® 500
and Sealection® Agribalance or NCFI’s InsulStar® and Sealite™.
If you have a spray polyurethane foam product installed in your home, our attorneys would like to speak with you. Contact one of our experienced environmental and construction defect lawyers today
for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case.
What is Spray Polyurethane Foam?
Spray polyurethane foam is installed in attempt to make homes more energy efficient, but reports indicate that the material releases chemicals that are toxic to humans. The foam insulation is created by combining two toxic compounds together in a spraying apparatus, and applied to areas such as the attic where heat is often lost. Spray foam insulation is often advertised as a “green” way to save on energy costs, but according to some homeowners, the hazardous chemicals will only lead to future medical costs and other damages.
What are the Dangers of Spray Polyurethane Foam?
Spray polyurethane foam typically contains chemicals deemed toxic by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), such as methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI). The product also contains substances that may be “Irritating to eyes, respiratory system and skin” according to Demilec’s website. The chemicals used in spray foam are supposed to lose toxicity once it is placed inside homes, but reports suggest that the foam releases formaldehyde gas and other toxic substances after it is installed. Exposure to spray polyurethane foam has been associated with the following symptoms:
- Skin irritation
- Eye, nose and throat irritation
- Breathing problems
- Lung Damage
Spray foam may even lead to a fatal reaction in people who have been exposed, or sensitized, to the substance.
William Swietlik, co-chair of the EPA’s workshop on spray foam dangers, has pointed out that the chemicals used in spray foam insulation are “a leading cause of workplace asthma and are a well known sensitizing toxicant to humans.” He went on to say that “Once a human becomes sensitized to diisocyonate there may be no safe exposure level.” This means that a person who has been exposed to poisonous gas from spray foam insulation may be particularly susceptible to the product’s toxic effects in the future.
Spray Foam Insulation Lawsuits
A number of homeowners around the country are filing lawsuits against spray polyurethane foam manufacturers.
Generally, the suits allege that the foam releases hazardous chemicals in houses where they are installed. Cases claim that although the hazardous properties of the foam are supposed to become inert after installation, the specific requirements needed to create the foam do not allow this to happen. Homeowners are filing lawsuits alleging that the foam contains carcinogens, such as formaldehyde and isopropylene, which may cause respiratory problems.
Reports suggests that spray polyurethane foam insulation may be even more of a health hazard than Chinese Drywall, which has been heavily associated with breathing and respiratory problems, asthma attacks, chronic headaches and sinus problems. As with Chinese Drywall lawsuits, attorneys expect spray foam insulation cases to be consolidated into a multidistrict litigation where suits are centralized before one judge.