ARTICLES / DANGERS OF ISOCYANATES
Dangers of Polyurethane Foam Toxic
Polyurethane Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) or commonly called polyurethane foam is found in all types of items around the home, including foam pillows, carpet pads, TVs, and even computers. In fact, electronic equipment and high impact plastics are two of the most common items to use this type of foam. It’s inexpensive and highly effective as it cushions impacts, bumps, and provides a soft place to walk for carpets and rest when you go to bed.
Unfortunately, polyurethane foam has toxic substances, which make it a danger to keep in your household. Only recently has researched linked long-term exposure to foam with a variety of health issues that include, but are not limited to the following;
- Behavioral Changes
- Learning & Memory Impairment
- Liver Damage
- Thyroid Disruption
The source of the toxins comes from two of the three main substances found in the foam, penta and octa which the EPA banned the production in the US back in 2005. However, despite the ban, the sheer number of polyurethane foam toxic products that remain in the US and around the world is considerable. Plus, there are other areas of the world that have yet to ban the substance which makes it an ever-present danger inside the home.
How to Limit Your Exposure to PBDE
The good news about most polyurethane foam products is that they only become a substantial danger when they start falling apart. That is when the toxic substances inside start to escape.
There are several things you can do to limit your exposure to older forms of polyurethane foam. The first step is identifying all polyurethane foam in your home that was purchased before 2005. You may find that your home has several items, some of which may be more expensive to get rid of than others, but it is important that you identify all items that might contain polyurethane foam.
Vacuuming & Sweeping Regularly
The toxic substances inside old polyurethane foam break down over time which means that the gasses they release become a threat when allowed to build up. You can combat this by vacuuming carpets, sweeping floors, and increasing the airflow inside your home. Creating a dust-free home helps protect children and pets.
Get Rid of Pillows
If you have a foam pillow that you purchased before 2005, you will need to get rid of it. Constant exposure may lead to thyroid dysfunction and even liver damage. You should replace it with one that contains new polyurethane fibers or feathers which offers natural support. By replacing your old pillow, you considerably reduce the health risk from PBDE-related illnesses.
Cover It Up
If you have a piece of furniture that has the old polyurethane foam toxic substances, but is too expensive to replace for your budget, then cover it up instead. By covering the areas where the gasses from the toxic foam escapes, you can protect you, your family, and everyone else inside the household.
If you have more questions about polyurethane foam toxic substances, contact the experts at Hybrid Coating Technologies. They can help you replace them with hybrid coating substances as the right solution.
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