Spray Foam Insulation Lawsuit Alleges Chemicals Pose Deadly Health Risks


spray foam insulation lawsuit

Insulation when building a home is not a choice – it’s required to properly protect your home. But, there are many options to choose from – fiberglass, cellulose, and spray foam. Touted as an environmentally friendly insulation option, Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) was introduced to the market in 1986. When applied correctly, it can provide many benefits: sound control, deterring mold, reducing air flow of drafts, and potentially lowering your energy bill because of its efficiency.

Spray insulation works by expanding up to 100 times its original size to fill every possible space – resulting in almost perfect insulation. However, when applied improperly or by applicants wearing inadequate protection material, the spray insulation foam can have serious health implications. The drive to go “green” is good for the environment but in the case of Spray Polyurethane Foam, it is detrimental to the health of those who apply it and those who are exposed to the air after spraying. Have you been injured? You may qualify for a spray foam insulation lawsuit.


What are the Dangers of Spray Foam Insulation?

Well, when applied correctly and given enough time to “cure”, there are not any dangers of spray insulation – but if the applicators aren’t wearing personal protective equipment or the foam isn’t applied correctly, dangerous reactions can occur. Exposure can result from a number of things, including:

  1. Vapors and aerosols – When applied, the foam releases certain vapors that are dangerous to respiratory systems. If applied and vented for 24 hours or more, the vapors and aerosols will evaporate, but if an individual comes in contact with the room without protective equipment, they can suffer from a number of health issues, including difficulty breathing.
  2. Dust – Cutting or trimming the foam as is hardens can release chemicals in the air. Also, dust particles from the spraying can pose a risk for up to 24 hours which is why a proper 24, or 48 hours as an extra safety measure, ventilation process is required after applying spray insulation.
  3. Fire – If a fire were to occur in the home, the fumes and smoke would pose a risk to anyone in the general vicinity, including responding firefighters. Full supplied air respirators are recommended when fighting polyurethane fires.
  4. Heat Generation Processes – Drilling, welding, soldering, grinding, sawing, or sanding can result in airborne chemicals.

Two-part spray insulation foams are the ones of greater concern, rather than one-part insulation foam, as the two-part requires the mixing of chemicals, referred to as Side A and Side B, on-site, and then, applied for insulation.

Side A consists of highly reactive chemicals called isocyanates which are powerful irritants of the eyes, gastrointestinal, and respiratory tracts. If they come into contact with skin, inflammation can occur. Contact with isocyanates can “sensitize” workers which essentially means that if the individual comes into contact with the chemicals a second time, severe asthma attacks can occur. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) says preventing exposure through engineering systems, personal protective clothing, and worker isolation are key in eliminating any health hazards.

Side B is a “polyol resin blend – the principal ingredient being polyol — and smaller amounts of amine and/or metal catalyst, blowing agent, surfactant and flame retardant,” according to Spray Polyurethane Foam Health and Safety. While less is known about the risks of the chemicals in Side B, the same precautions should be taken and direct contact should still be avoided. The CDC is currently investigating the chemicals and the risks associated with the Side B component of spray insulation foam.

Did you apply spray insulation foam and suffer from health issues? Were you a homeowner who experienced side effects from the foam after it was sprayed in your house? While the type of contact with the spray foam varied, both types of individuals suffered greatly – due to the effects of Spray Polyurethane Foam.

Contact TorHoerman Law to speak with a lawyer about a spray foam insulation lawsuit today.

+ - References

"CDC - Isocyanates - NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 23 Apr. 2014, www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/isocyanates/default.html.

"Is Spray Foam Insulation Safe? - Blog - Marketplace." CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 25 Oct. 2013, www.cbc.ca/marketplace/blog/is-spray-foam-safe.

"NIOSH Science Blog." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 Dec. 2016, blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2012/03/21/sprayfoam/.

"Overview of Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) | SPF Health and Safety." Spray Polyurethane Foam Health + Safety, www.spraypolyurethane.org/overview-spray-polyurethane-foam-spf/.

"Potential Chemical Exposures From Spray Polyurethane Foam." EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 27 Nov. 2018, www.epa.gov/saferchoice/potential-chemical-exposures-spray-polyurethane-foam.

Ringler, Amanda. "What Is Spray Foam Insulation? What It's Made of, How It Works, & More." RetroFoam of Michigan: Spray Foam Insulation Contractor, 26 Jan. 2017, www.retrofoamofmichigan.com/blog/spray-foam-insulation-what-its-made-of-how-it-works.

"Spray Foam Insulation Nightmare: What Can Happen If It's Not Installed Correctly (CBC Marketplace)." YouTube, YouTube, 10 Sept. 2014, youtu.be/0Hh5MYv7lWc.

2 Comments Posted

  1. Hi,

    I had foam insulation sprayed under my crawlspace and now it’s coming up making me sick. I’m looking for the paperwork of the company I went through.

    The smell is so bad it’s in my nose and mouth and on my clothes. I don’t know who to contact to get it off my walls.

    Thank you,

    Posted by Debbie on Fri Aug 2 2019 8:56pm

    • Hello Debbie,

      Please contact our toll-free number – 1 (888) 508-6752 or email us at info@thlawyer.com

      Thank you,
      THL Team

      Posted by Jordan Terry on Fri Aug 23 2019 10:05am

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