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Panel: Sahar Osman-Sypher
Media: Lisa Dry

Learn More About Uses of Polyurethane Made With Diisocyanates

In March 2014, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) released the first three products to serve as test cases for the new Safer Consumer Products (SCP) regulation. One of the products listed is Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Systems containing “unreacted” or "wet" diisocyanates. 

This California state program has been in the works for seven years, and is intended to assess the necessity of certain chemicals in consumer products. Though the state has long said they intend the program to be "practical, meaningful and legally defensible," the American Chemistry Council, its member companies and other industry organizations, have continued to express concerns about whether the program in its current form will achieve those goals.

In addition to several inaccurate statements on the DTSC website, ACC is extremely disappointed that DTSC has ignored nearly four years of collaborative work with multiple federal regulatory agencies in making their decision to include SPF containing unreacted diisocyanates as a test case. 

ACC and its member companies have worked with EPA, NIOSH, OSHA and CPSC to share data and demonstrate the safety and benefits of our products and will continue to do so. ACC will continue to work with California’s DTSC to communicate the science and safety surrounding our products and educate them on the important product stewardship efforts already underway by the industry. 

Understanding SPF and Diisocyanates:

  • Consumers can and should continue to rely on SPF to help maximize the energy efficiency of buildings where they live, work and play.

  • EPA has stated in their chemical action plan that cured isocyanates are considered to be inert and non-toxic, which is the case once SPF is cured.

  • There are several inaccuracies on the DTSC website and some misinformation conveyed during the March 13, 2014 webinar about SPF systems containing unreacted diisocyanates. ACC is working with DTSC to correct that misinformation.

  • ACC is confident that when DTSC has the correct information, which has been provided to multiple federal agencies including EPA, that many concerns underlying the March 13, 2014 announcement will be addressed.

  • Diisocyanates are well-studied and regulatory limits exist for MDI, a diisocyanate, used in SPF.

  • The SPF industry has worked for the past several years in collaboration with several federal agencies to continue to increase the best practices for workers who install SPF products.

  • To read ACC’s comments on release of California’s Draft ‘priority products list’ as part of the new state regulations, please click here.

  • Learn more about the benefits of Spray Polyurethane Foam. To find out how spray polyurethane foam can specifically help Californians, click here.

Learn More About Spray Polyurethane Foam

Supplemental Comments on SPF Product Profile

Technical Comments on SPF Priority Product Profile

Coalition Letter on DTSC 3 Year Work Plan

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