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There is a great need for emissions information that can be used to estimate when it is safe for trade workers to re-enter a work area in which spray polyurethane foam (SPF) was recently applied to surfaces during retrofit and new construction. The Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) Ventilation Research Task Force conducted experiments to determine the decay rate of chemical vapor after SPF application. The purpose of the study was to estimate the time required to restrict unprotected trade workers, such as plumbers, electricians, dry wall installers, etc., from the work area to minimize their exposure. Emissions from CPI generic high-pressure medium-density, high-pressure low-density, and low-pressure two-component kit formulations were evaluated in a ventilated room operating at a rate of 10 air changes per hour (ACH) for 3 h and lowered to 1 ACH for 9 h to evaluate decay rates for a total of 12 h. Chemical ingredients selected for evaluation represent those typically present in SPF formulations. Substances evaluated included methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, amine catalysts, blowing agents, and flame retardants. This paper discusses the experimental protocol, reports results of the air sampling study, and provides recommendations.
SPF application, re-entry time, MDI, amine catalyst, blowing agent, flame retardant
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., Global Industrial Hygiene Services, Allentown, PA