The Signal: News and Notes from the Pharos Team
Foam Board Insulations: Plagued By Ozone, Global Warming and Fire
Great post on Foam Concrete which expand the idea of foam board which is also known as foam core,is a backing material widely used in framing art. It is made of a type of Styrofoam covered on both sides with paper or plastic so that the foam is the core of the sandwich. This material is usually white, although some manufacturers also offer it in black.
Let us all install foam insulations on our homes. It will really help us a lot and not only us but also the mother earth. I hope this post really helps us protect our home and the earth as well.
The California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program (CECBP) Scientific Guidance Panel (SGP) undertook a thorough evaluation of the science on TCPP and concluded that "TCPP is structurally similar to three chemical compounds that have been identified as causing cancer. Tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate and tris(2,3-dibromopropyl)phosphate are listed as known to cause cancer under Proposition 65, and tris(1,3-dichloropropyl)phosphate was identified as a probable human carcinogen, based on sufficient evidence in animals, by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission." (from "Brominated and Chlorinated Organic Chemical Compounds Used As Flame Retardants, Additional Information on Four Flame Retardants" from the CECBP SGP http://oehha.ca.gov/multimedia/biomon/pdf/FlameRetardants_FourMore.pdf
In this article the author made various statements regarding the toxicological properties of HBCD and TCPP, both flame retardants which are used in plastic and foam board insulation. The statements on TCPP are incorrect and suggestive as none of the statements can be backed up by science. TCPP has been evaluated recently in the EU in a thorough risk assessment and more recent in the REACH registration, where the extensive dataset has been evaluated by external experts and EU authorities, including data on neurotoxicity and genotoxicity. The conclusion was that TCPP is not a neurotoxin nor a carcinogen, and is not an environmental pollutant. In addition, the substance should not be compared to TRIS, which is obviously not a “close relative” to TCPP when it comes down to the toxicological profile, based on comparison of all the data generated for both products.
This is a great start to the full disclosure of the potential dangers of the ubiquitous foam insulations. With a stated goal of 83% reduction in U.S. energy use by 2050 the feds have put the pressure on building professionals to enhance residential thermal performance. In Maine, where I reside, most of the housing stock was built before 1970 when oil as cheap and houses were designed to breath. Indoor air quality could not be more closely linked to our choices of materials we envelope ourselves in. Using less fuel oil and oil based materials is critical to the health of this planet but we must also pay even greater attention to the quality of indoor air as we "button up". Thanks for your great work.
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