The Adverse Health Effects Of Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation as a way to treat buildings has become very popular in the United States as well as many other countries across Europe. This is probably because it is highly efficient compared to other treatments like fiber glass. Another reason could be because the United States government has offered some attractive tax incentives for all those who will use spray foam insulations in their homes.

In as much as spray foam insulation is said to be highly effective and efficient, it is not without its demerits. One of the biggest drawbacks of spray foam insulation usage is that it has got adverse health effects on users. Spray foam insulation contains some harmful chemicals known as “isocyanates”. These chemicals are strong irritants and can cause damage to your eyes, respiratory tract, skin and intestines. Most people tend to experience rashes on their necks, chest and arms after using spray foam insulation for some time while others feel s as if their eyes have got sandy or coarse particles in them.

When workers get too much exposure to isocyanates, they can easily develop asthma over time and this without their knowledge. Respiratory irritations may also develop to full blown bronchitis following persistent exposure to isocyanates.

Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis

Medical practitioners have reported quite a number of cases of HP i.e. Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis from workers who have been exposed to isocyanates for long periods. At the onset, the symptoms of HP are muscle aches, flu, high fever and frequent headaches. Other signs that may appear later on include; a congested chest, difficulty in breathing and frequent coughs. It was found out that workers who have acute hypersensitivity pneumonitis show the signs about 5 hours immediately after exposure to isocyanates. On the other hand those that have developed chronic HP experience a lot of difficulty in breathing as time wears on. They also feel fatigued and loose a lot of weight. The good news is that over the past few years, quality foams have been developed and have eliminated most of the health complications that we have seen above.

An important point worth noting is that spray foam insulation does not have toxic effects when it has completed its curing process. It only has toxic effect during the curing process. That explains why those applying it suffer health effects if they are not well protected while home owners do not get affected. During the curing process, spray foam insulation produces a harmful gas that brings about difficulty in breathing as well as poor vision.

Wear protective clothing while using spray foam insulation

As a result of the health complications associated with spray foam insulation, those applying it are advised to wear protective clothing especially over the face. Gloves and gas masks would be most appropriate during the application process. Applicators are also advised to ensure that they mix the materials in the correct proportions. Failure to do that will ultimately lead to perpetual emission of toxic gases which will be more harmful even to the home owners.