What Insulation Materials Emit Hazardous Fumes?

Polyurethane foam insulation spray is a popular choice for many homeowners, but it can be hazardous to workers during installation. This type of foam contains harmful chemicals, such as methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), which can cause asthma and lung damage in exposed workers. Boric acid is another type of insulation that emits toxic and irritating fumes when exposed to fire. Inhaling these vapors can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, throat, and skin, as well as headaches, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Urea-formaldehyde foam was widely used in homes built before the 1970s.

However, it was later discovered that this type of insulation emitted formaldehyde vapors during the curing process, leading to adverse health effects on the eyes, nose, and respiratory system. Fortunately, there are now formaldehyde-free binders available for smooth and semi-rigid plate insulation. Fiberglass insulation is another popular choice for many homeowners. While it is generally safe to use for short periods of time, prolonged exposure can cause irritation and pain in some cases. It is important to make sure that the fiberglass insulation you are using does not contain high levels of formaldehyde.

If you are unsure, it is best to hire a professional installer. Aerosol foam insulation is a liquid that adheres to surfaces and then expands and hardens. This type of insulation has been found to be one of the most harmful in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, it is important to use a professional installer when using aerosol foam insulation and resist the temptation to try the spray foam kits that you can make yourself. Expanded polystyrene insulation is made by expanding individual preformed polystyrene beads to give them a molded shape. To ensure safety when using this type of insulation, manufacturers should disclose the content and health hazards associated with their products through health product declarations (HPD).