Toxic spray foam off-gasses or releases harmful chemicals in the air, some of which you can smell and some of which you cannot. Many of these chemicals cause immediate or acute reactions and can cause long-lasting and permanent damage to your body.
Isocyanates, specifically methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and toluene diisocyanate (TDI) are the leading cause of work-related asthma. MDI and TDI are linked with toxic spray foam. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), additional health effects of MDI and TDI include:
- Skin and Eye Irritation
- Nasal and Lung Lesions
- Neurological Disorders
Formaldehyde may be used to produce MDI in spray foam. This cancer-causing chemical is characterized by a peculiar, sweet odor. Typical reactions to formaldehyde include:
- Watery Eyes
- Mucus Membrane Irritation
- Burning Sensation in the Throat
- Difficulty Breathing
- Aggravated Asthma Symptoms
People react differently to indoor air pollution and report a variety of symptoms. Some people, especially children, are much more sensitive to chemical exposure, even at levels below the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) guidelines. People with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) or have been exposed to isocyanates in the past are much more susceptible to adverse health effects at low levels.
Symptoms may not occur immediately. Several IndoorDoctor clients have reported adverse health effects months or even years after moving into a home or working in a building with toxic spray foam insulation.
We encourage anyone living or working in a building with toxic spray foam not to ignore their symptoms and to see their physician immediately. Make sure to follow-up by scheduling independent testing to document the presence of poisonous off-gassing.