Polyurethane Off-Gassing in SIPs
I came across an old response dated back in 2012 to a client of ours who had concerns about what he had been hearing about polyurethane foam SIPs and off-gassing and I thought I would share it here. This letter came about because an EPS Panel company was trying to compete with our business. They told him that our panels were no good because they have a polyurethane core and that polyurethane SIPs off-gas. To make his case, he sent him a link to a tort lawyer’s website which were attacking spray foam installers, with NO mention of SIPs at all. So the response goes….
Dear [client’s name],
From what my vendors tell me, there is a very nasty battle going on right now between the polystyrene [EPS] and urethane makers – even in some cases where the companies that handle both types of foam are at odds within their own company. Aged insulation values have been the big fight, but it looks like the EPS guys have another way to scare people now [refering to Client’s email]. While these may be legitimate complaints, it’s irresponsible to insinuate that Spray Foam Products (SPF) is the same as a Polyurethane SIP Product.
When I heard more stories from EPS guys about Polyurethane panels off-gassing, we contacted Lee Salamone, the Senior Director, at ACC Center for the Polyurethanes Industry in Washington, DC. This is her reply to me… “In terms of your question regarding off-gassing, that is not an issue that has come up at CPI before. EPA, in its recently published Action Plan regarding uncured MDI in products (April 2011), has stated that it considers finished foam products to be generally inert and non-toxic.”
After reading more from lawyer website you reffered to, they actually say, “In case after case, homeowners were allowed to remain inside the homes when the toxic chemicals were sprayed. Installation companies often had problems with equipment, temperatures or with the product itself. In many cases, the foam may have been installed improperly; resulting in chemicals that may not become inert, but rather may remain exposed and then become airborne. Was the training by the manufacturer to blame? Were the chemicals in side A or side B bad? …” -Wolf & Pravato
Again, it appears that the problem lies in the application process. In the EPA report, there is mention of chemical sensitivity, but this refers to the chemicals used in the blowing process. On the other hand, with spray foam, it all comes down to installer error.
In answer to your question, our panels do not have these issues. In addition, the polyurethane foam in our panels is produced under strict manufacturing procedures, within OSHA safety guidelines, has no ozone depleting “potential” and no off-gassing.
Thank you for contacting us and I hope I was able to alleviate your concerns.
Darrell Simpson Sr.
SIP Supply, LLC