As the temperatures in Pennsylvania begin falling, signaling the start of winter, many homeowners will look to increase their home's energy efficiency by keeping heat in and cold out through better insulation. The EPA and ENERGY STAR Commission have both heavily promoted new "spray foam" insulation technology due to being nearly 50% more efficient than traditional fiberglass foam.
HEALTH IMPACT OF SPRAY FOAM
While spray foam has typically been considered non-toxic after it has dried, the application process is not easy and requires a lot of protection. Spray foam is essentially two chemicals that expand and dry at anywhere from 30 to 60 times their original volume when combined. However, before they dry, the chemicals have been found to release highly-toxic fumes, known for causing massive headaches, respiratory problems, joint pain, and a number of other problems. In extreme cases, the side effects have created permanent, catastrophic health issues.
Most modern companies will not allow residents to even enter their homes during the application process and for at least 24 hours after in order to allow the substance proper time to dry. However, even in spite of this, a botched installation can still lead to health problems. If the foam is applied too thick and can't dry properly, fumes can linger. Additionally, lower-quality foams have been found to contain traces of formaldehyde, a chemical compound that is extremely toxic to humans.
PREVENTING HEALTH HAZARDS WHEN INSTALLING
Spray foam is completely harmless in most cases; so long as the installation is performed properly by a skilled technician using a high-quality chemical product, you will likely experience no health impacts in your home at all. However, there are a few steps you should take to ensure this happens.
First, always make sure you choose an experienced and reputable installer. Newer businesses usually have newer technicians that make dangerous mistakes in the installation process, which may harm your health. Second, make sure your installer will give you a written guarantee that they will remove your foam should anything bad happen.
If you have suffered from health complications after having spray foam installed in your home, you may be eligible to receive substantial compensation for your injuries. At Goldstein, Heslop, Steele, Clapper, Oswalt & Smith, our team of Altoona personal injury attorneys fight to put the law on the side of those who have suffered as a result of defective products, including toxic exposure injuries and illnesses. We offer compassionate and dedicated service to all of our clients, and we fight to help restore your life in a stressful time of need after an injury.
Call Goldstein, Heslop, Steele, Clapper, Oswalt & Smith today at 814.705.4741 and schedule a consultation with our skilled team!