ARTICLES / DANGERS OF ISOCYANATES
Safety of Polyurethane
Safety of Polyurethane
Sept 13, 2016
If there is one substance that is found in the most number of products, it would be polyurethane. You can find it in substances that range from wheels to adhesives to paints which means that you will find it in homes, buildings, vehicles, and many different man-made structures. Today, the widespread use of this product has led to an emphasis on creating safe polyurethane as an effective alternative.
What is Polyurethane?
First discovered by Professor Otto Bayer in the 1930s, it was his search for an alternative to rubber that led him to accidentally find polyurethane. It was not long before polyurethane was put to good use starting with coating for applications in both the aeronautical and clothing industries during World War II.
Over the past few decades, the substance has been expanded to many different forms which covers a wide range of uses. This is because it can be hardened or softened to meet a myriad of different needs.
- Upholstery, Vehicular Seating, and Bedding
- Thermal Insulation
- Print, Conveyer, and Glass Fiber Rollers
- Footwear Products
- Structural and Vehicular Parts
- Watch Straps, Bands, and More
Thanks to its water-resistant attributes, it is often used as a coating for many different substances. You can even find it in inflatable boats, deck sealants, and even textiles. However, there is a danger that comes with exposure to polyurethane.
Safety of Standard Polyurethane
When applied, polyurethane is often present in the air which may lead to irritation of the lungs which may incite asthma attacks or other related respiratory issues. The substance may also irritate the skin as well which might cause complications to develop. This is why when polyurethane is applied in a “wet” form that allows it to spread airborne particles it may cause complications to the health and wellbeing of those who are not protected. Once it hardens and the fumes leave the air it becomes safer to be around. Until then, some of the symptoms include the following;
- Coughing and Wheezing
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Dizziness and More
This is why companies must issue clear warnings and make sure that anyone present in an area where polyurethane is about to be applied is properly protected. It is recommended that pregnant women, the young and the elderly are advised not to be around when fumes from polyurethane are present. Even after it is applied, there are some people who are sensitive to the minute amounts of polyurethane that remain in the air.
A little research can go a long way towards discovering just how much polyurethane is present in your home. If you suffer from the conditions stated above and have yet to identify the source, then it is recommended that you remove all the polyurethane products from your living areas and bedroom.
This is one reason why there is a movement towards safe polyurethane products that offer the same advantages, but are far less toxic in the airborne environment. For more information, you can check out Hybrid Technologies as they may provide the solution that you need.
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