LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Vincent Joseph Pravato | Jan 28, 2013

What to Do if You Experience Spray Foam Insulation Problems

Are spray foam insulation problems the source of your family’s health issues? Many newer homes contain spray foam insulation to improve their home’s energy efficiency. However, the added comfort and the money you save on heating and cooling costs may be trumped by the effects of the spray foam’s off-gassing on your family’s health.

If you believe you’re negatively affected by spray foam, help yourself by seeing your doctor about any health problems you’re having, and then take steps to document the issue, determine whether the material may be to blame, and ensure its proper removal.

Effects of Spray Foam Insulation Problems

Spray foam insulation, when cured, is generally considered inert, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If not cured, it can emit chemicals such as methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), which can be deadly. The curing process may take up to 72 hours, and installers should take steps to ensure that the material is installed safely.

The product may cause severe side effects when harmful vapors are inhaled. Those exposed may experience irritation in the eyes, lungs or skin. Wheezing and breathing problems may develop as prolonged spray foam exposure may cause asthma. Some individuals may become sensitized and experience reactions after subsequent exposure to low levels of the material.

The side effects of spray foam insulation can also lead to financial devastation. Some homeowners have become so affected by the off-gassing that they have had to leave their homes. In one case, a homeowner added new appliances, flooring and other renovations to a home. After spending $100,000 on these upgrades, spray foam insulation problems forced the homeowner to abandon the home.

Steps to Take if You Suspect Spray Foam Insulation Problems

If you suffer health problems or symptoms related to exposure to spray foam, help yourself by taking the following steps:

  • Seek medical attention. Let the doctor know you have been exposed to spray foam.
  • Gather documentation such as invoices, contracts, and material safety data sheets (MSDS) for the spray foam.
  • Take photos and videos of the foam.
  • Contact the installers and manufacturer and inform them of the problem.
  • Contact an Indoor Air Quality expert to confirm the source of the problem.
  • Contact the state contactors’ licensing board if the contractor or manufacturer fails to resolve the problem.
  • File a Consumer Product Incident Report at www.SaferProducts.gov.
  • Get legal help from an attorney who can hold the responsible parties liable for your health problems.

Do not try to remove the insulation yourself, as improper removal could further expose you or your family to potentially harmful effects of the spray foam. The material should be professionally removed to make sure it is removed safely.

Contacting a Lawyer

If your home contains spray foam insulation, you and your family may be at risk for many health problems. If you or your family experience adverse health effects from spray foam, help is available from an attorney at Wolf & Pravato. We can even recommend an Industrial Hygienist with experience in spray foam and isocyanates if necessary. Contact us today (800) 428-3476 for a free consultation regarding the spray foam insulation problems you’ve experienced.

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