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Is Spray Foam insulation Toxic

The question regarding whether the spray insulation foam is toxic is normally related to whether Polyurethane Spray foam is toxic or not. The chemical certainly contains high levels of toxic material that may have adverse effects on health. Therefore many people tend to avoid getting this type of insulation and opt for something more eco-friendly like recycled insulation made out of materials like sheep wool, soya beans or even newspapers. 

The question still remains whether the spray foam is actually toxic or not and is it a healthy choice or not. 

What is Spray Foam insulation?

Spray foam insulation is an insulation that is done by water blowing a compound of chemicals into an attic space in order to seal it. The insulation is carried out by its expansion which works as a perfect alternative when it comes to traditional forms of insulation when it comes to the levels of air-tightness. 

There are mainly two types of Spray foam insulation, the open cell and the closed cell. The differences between these two tend to provide an overview of their abilities and how they may be designed differently for different purposes. 

The main reason that certain issues tend to arise is simply because of the wrong application of the products. This implies the possibility of mistakes that might have been carried out due to lack of proper expertise at the time of the installation. 

Is Spray foam insulation really dangerous?

Spray foam insulation has been used in both houses that are private properties or assisted living assisted living care  properties. While it is known to have certain negative effects, it is still one of the most widely used types of insulation. 

The reason that they are widely used is because they tend to have airtight  insulation. Though nowadays there are other foam based insulation that are not as toxic as spray polyurethane foam

Some of the dangers that this form of insulation may cause are:

  • Sensitization
  • Asthma
  • Respiratory of breathing damage
  • Lung Damage

The bigger issue is the Isocyanates that are the key reason for toxicity in this form of insulation. Isocyanates are actually highly reactive chemicals that may be used to create certain compounds for industrial and commercial applications. These chemical compounds must be handled with safety and proper precautionary measures. Especially during the first 24 hours until the whole curing process is complete. After the first 24 hours you don’t have to worry about off-gassing but during this period you should definitely stay out of the main installation area. Your contractor should obviously let you know about when it is safe to enter the house with no risk of odors or toxic chemicals in the air. 


Once the spray foam has settled in and properly expanded to its spongy texture the toxic VOCs will no longer be present. As for its toxicity to pets, it’s not toxic after the settling period has commenced. If installed properly then it should be perfectly safe for both humans and animals in the sprayed area. Make sure that the excess spray foam is removed after installation and that animals or even children don’t bite in or chew on it for safety.

Also read Is Spray Foam insulation Toxic.


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