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A working group formed under the auspices of the American Chemistry Council Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) recently developed a procedure for using a room-size chamber to assess the impact of ventilation on trade worker re-entry times for work environments after the application of various generic spray foam systems. Key to the assessment was the fact that the procedures also demonstrated techniques for evaluating the volatile and semivolatile organic compound emissions from these spray polyurethane foam (SPF) systems. Thus far, the working group has only reported results from generic high-pressure low- and medium-density spray foam systems and low-pressure systems. No commercially available formulations have been reported as yet. This paper presents the evaluation of two commercially available high-pressure low- and medium-density SPF systems using the CPI re-entry study test protocol. It also suggests how the chemical emissions data can be interpreted by risk assessment professionals to establish trade worker re-entry time guidance for contractors spraying these systems. This study aimed to determine whether worker re-entry times could be reduced from the industry practice of 24 h if specific rates of workplace ventilation were employed. Ventilation rates up to 10 ACH were attempted and results are presented herein. Ultimately, the methods were adapted and used for guiding improvements to the design of formulations. This paper provides the rationale behind what was done and the results achieved.
low-density spray polyurethane foam, medium-density spray polyurethane foam, worker re-entry time
Duffy, J. Paul
Icynene Inc., Mississauga, ON
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., Allentown, PA