California targets spray polyurethane foam insulation | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 95 Issue 13 | p. 15 | Concentrates
Issue Date: March 27, 2017

California targets spray polyurethane foam insulation

Department: Government & Policy
Keywords: regulation, California, spray polyurethane foam insulation, methylene diphenyl diisocyanates
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Spray polyurethane foam insulation is used commercially and by do-it-yourselfers.
Credit: Volodymyr Plysiuk/Shutterstock
Photo shows a wall with a pipe emerging from it surrounded by spray polyurethane foam insulation.
 
Spray polyurethane foam insulation is used commercially and by do-it-yourselfers.
Credit: Volodymyr Plysiuk/Shutterstock

California wants makers of spray polyurethane foam insulation containing unreacted methylene diphenyl diisocyanates (MDI) to determine how to reduce human health risks from their products. The state says workers and consumers can be exposed to unreacted MDI from these products and are at risk for respiratory problems and allergic reactions. California on March 22 proposed classifying such foam insulation as a “priority product” under the state’s safer consumer products initiative. The move would force manufacturers to formally analyze whether and how they could reformulate their products or take other steps to reduce risks. Chemical manufacturers are bristling at the proposal. The American Chemistry Council, an industry trade group, says the spray polyurethane foam with MDI “is well studied and well controlled.” ACC adds that industry has provided extensive data and science to the state showing that the insulation does not meet California’s criteria for listing as a priority product. Though the federal Toxic Substances Control Act preempts most state regulation of chemicals, California says it can control the insulation because there is TSCA regulation restricting the use of or reducing the hazard posed by MDI.

 
Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
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