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Polyurethane Fumes and Children: The Real Story

polyurethane fumes and children

Links between polyurethane fumes and children have long been discussed within the media and for good reason. Therefore, before deciding which type of insulation product and method to choose, it is a good idea to make yourself aware of the facts.

If you are considering insulating your home with any number of the polyurethane spray foam insulation products that are available on the market, then it is important that you consider the long-term safety of yourself and your family.

History has shown that building materials that were once considered economical and safe (such as asbestos) are now recognised as being capable of causing severe damage to an individual’s health.

Older Versions of Polyurethane Spray Foam

Similarly, older versions of polyurethane spray foam, which were used in North America, were once deemed hazardous to human health.

This was as a direct result of an individual’s exposure to harmful chemicals that were emitted during and shortly after the application of polyurethane spray foam. Additionally, older versions of polyurethane spray tended to contain a lot more harmful chemicals than contemporary products.

Modern versions of polyurethane spray are now completely safe, but it is still important that the application be carried out by an approved professional who has been trained and approved to safely install polyurethane spray foam within a property or building.

Polyurethane Fumes and Children

Two of the key reasons for employing the help of a professional installer are so that particle dispersion can be kept to a minimum, and so that a safe re-entry time into the home can be established.

In historical cases involving polyurethane fumes and children, there were instances whereby it was determined to be safe to return to the property due to no fumes being present in the air.

However, chemical dusts and residues from polyurethane often settled on carpets and floors (places where children may have sat, crawled or played)

Therefore, although the air may have been fully safe after a few hours, a greater period of time needed to elapse so that residues were no longer present within carpet fibres and  floors.

Different Problems for Different People

Historically, these problems were largely respiratory, and included asthma, allergic reactions and breathing problems.

The problem with polyurethane fumes and children was particularly heightened due to the fact that, having yet to have reached full physical maturity, children had a reduced lung capacity in comparison to adults.

It should be clearly stressed, however, that it was only in instances where older chemical sprays were used (and rooms were not properly ventilated) that any links between polyurethane fumes and children were established.

Modern Spray Foam Insulators

Modern spray foam insulators use a much safer mix of compounds than their older counterparts. Home Logic Spray Foamhas a chemical make-up that consists of two compounds – water and isocyanates.

These compounds react with each other when the spray action is administered to a particular area, expanding 100-fold to safely fill cavities within your walls, ceilings and floors.

polyurethane fumes and children

DDIY – Don’t Do It Yourself

There are other spray foams on the market, of course. You may be tempted to go out and buy a compound mix of water and isocyanates from your local DIY retailer and attempt to apply it yourself.

In the interests of safety, however, it is strongly advisable that you enlist the help of a professional contractor! One that is approved to safely apply your spray foam and follow a strongly regulated procedure.

This professional service will include the following processes:

Step 1: Survey, Identify and Access

The application of isocyanates releases fumes which can remain present in the air and the environment for up to 24 hours. The maximum levels of exposure are present upon the initial application of the spray foam.

A professional will be able to advise you, based upon the size of your room and the air flow within it, how long the job will take and how long your home should be evacuated for. This should never normally be longer than a 24-hour period.

Step 2: Select The Correct Product

Home Logic Spray Foam has received a BAA (Approval Inspection Testing Certificate) and meets with all of the Building Regulations legislation most recently passed throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It has been accessed as being safe in line with five methods of assessment – durability; behaviour in relation to fire; condensation risk; thermal performance and practicability of installation.

Step 3: Enlist The Experts

A professional contractor will use safety regulated materials and tools. In particular, the correct Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) is necessary so as to ensure that any fumes that become airborne during the short application process are safely filtered through the correct breathing apparatus.

Home Logic Spray Foam is specifically designed so as to not accumulate dust particles, dirt and water. So once it has been safely applied, and its compounds have settled, it will not attract any mould, and thus affect the quality of air that you breathe.

Step 4: Determine A Safe Re-Entry Time

Once the application of insulation is complete, a short period of time has to elapse whereby the treated room is subjected to adequate building ventilation.

Spray the Safe Way – Get in Touch with Us Today!

We here at Home Logic can help to provide you with that peace of mind you’re looking for. Rest safe in the knowledge that all of our professional installers have been certified to the highest standards and possess over twenty years of experience in safely applying Home Logic Spray Foam.

Call 0800 1700 636 for more information, or send an email to survey@homelogic.co.uk.