FAQ - Concerned about formaldehyde in Icynene spray foam? Get the answers.
Should I be worried about potential exposure to formaldehyde from Icynene spray foam insulation products?
No, there is no reason to be worried about exposure to formaldehyde from Icynene spray foam insulation. Formaldehyde is not used as an ingredient in the manufacture of Icynene spray foam insulation.
Icynene spray foam insulation has been tested numerous times over the years, by highly-sophisticated and reputable third party laboratories, for levels of formaldehyde. Tiny amounts of formaldehyde detected in conjunction with application of Icynene spray foam insulation originate from other materials in the application space or “trace” amounts occurring normally in the raw materials used to manufacture the foam. In all cases, the data show levels of formaldehyde to be virtually undetectable with sensitive laboratory equipment within a short time after spraying.
Independent laboratory testing confirms that formaldehyde emissions from even freshly-sprayed Icynene foam are well within the strict guidelines for use in schools and offices set by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) in the state of California soon after spraying.
You can be certain that formaldehyde is not an ingredient in Icynene spray foam insulation and has been thoroughly tested by reputable third-party laboratories to ensure that any trace amounts of formaldehyde conform to normal indoor air levels and meet strict guidelines for schools.
What is formaldehyde and why is it a common concern relating to foam products?
Formaldehyde is a naturally-occurring and widely present chemical in our world. Formaldehyde is a simple chemical compound made of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon, with the formula CH2O. Most organic life forms - bacteria, plants, fish, animals and humans - produce formaldehyde at various levels. In fact, formaldehyde is even present in human breath.
Formaldehyde does not accumulate in the environment or within plants, animals or people, as metabolic processes quickly break it down in the body and the atmosphere. Formaldehyde is used in the manufacture of many products in the home:
- asphalt shingles
- sheathing & cladding
- walls & wall panels
- floors & roofs
- electrical boxes & outlets
- counter tops, cabinets & cabinet doors
- appliances: washers, dryers, & dishwashers
- plumbing: faucets, showerheads, & valve mechanisms;
- paints & varnishes
- and others
Most of the fiberglass batt insulation existing in walls and attics today was manufactured with formaldehyde-based binders. Formaldehyde became linked to spray foam insulation
because a common, early generation type of foam was formed using formaldehyde (i.e. urea-formaldehyde foam) and it contained substantial levels of residual formaldehyde. Icynene products are polyurethane, not urea-formaldehyde, foams and formaldehyde is not used to produce this type of foam.