ARTICLES / DANGERS OF ISOCYANATES
Is Polyurethane Foam Safe?
Polyurethane foam is found in many different places from your furniture, bedding, walls, under the carpet, and even in personal gear such as helmets and shoes. Because of its unique qualities, it can be found in many different places. However, is polyurethane foam safe to be around?
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that long-term exposure to polyurethane foam may cause the following illnesses and conditions to occur;
- Neurological Disorders
- Autoimmune Issues
- Infertility & Miscarriages
- Child Behavior Issues, Allergies, and Asthma
There may be other effects to polyurethane foam that might go unnoticed or get wrongly diagnosed by a physician. Polyurethane has different effects on different people, so being able to identify it as the source of a medical issue can be difficult unless it is tested for by the doctor.
If polyurethane foam has proven to cause so many different medical conditions, diseases, and illnesses, then you may wonder why it is such a popular material to use in the home. There are different answers as to why it is still so widespread, but arguably the main one is that in its solid form polyurethane foam only releases a relatively tiny amount of toxic substances into the air. This means that only long-term exposure that lasts for many years will have any noticeable effect.
However, there are exceptions to this general rule about the use of polyurethane foam and how it can affect those inside your residence.
Infants, toddlers, and children are especially vulnerable to the long-term effects of polyurethane because their physiology is more susceptible to the substance. This is true of mattresses in cribs crafted from the foam that gives off a tiny amount of toxic particles which are breathed into the lungs and absorbed into the skin. While most of the symptoms are relatively minor such as headaches, coughing, and fatigue, there have been other, more serious issues such as difficulty breathing, allergic reactions, and reduced pulmonary functions that have been cited in some cases.
Another issue that may affect everyone is if the polyurethane foam catches on fire. When burning, it releases a large amount of toxic chemicals into the air which may cause harsh reactions when breathed into the lungs. However, it presents another danger in its flammability which in many cases accelerates the burning process which results in a total loss of the home. It’s one reason why some foam mattresses have additional chemicals added to reduce its flammable nature.
There have also been recorded effects on the brains of neonatal infants as well as many allergies that children experience. A real concern may be the physicians do not fully understand all the effects that polyurethane foam has on the human body.
If you have concerns about the use of polyurethane foam, then you may want to look for non-toxic alternatives. They can provide the same effect while reducing the threat of indoor air pollution to your residence. For more information, contact the experts at Hybrid Coating Technologies, they have the knowledge and experience to help you make the best-informed decision.
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