SPRAYFOAM Professional - Winter 2015 - (Page 37)

sPF rEsEarcH sPF rEsEarcH on air QuaLity - Part 1 reducing OccupATiOnAl expOSure during Open cell inSTAllATiOnS By Dan nELson, GaCo WEsTErn R esearch being conducted with open cell foam installation is expected to lead toward reductions in occupational, trade and occupant exposure to chemicals with the potential for substantially reduced re-entry times. Per ongoing air studies being performed by Gaco Western, self-compressing polyurethane foam technology - when used along with a pre-installed membrane - has equated to better air quality during open cell foam installations. The research, thus far, has consisted of third-party air sampling, under the direction of an industrial hygiene consultant, without the use of any mechanical airflow in order to magnify the collection of emissions and the resultant exposure potential. Side by side homes were sprayed - one was free sprayed with conventional open cell foam and the other using a low-emission foam and membrane (in this case, the GacoProFill® System). Air samples were collected during the installation only, in order to evaluate potential contractor occupational exposure to the chemicals released during application. The results have shown that the low emission foam, when injected behind the pre-installed membrane, results in a better-controlled and safer sprayfoam installation. For foam applications performed behind a membrane, both gaseous and droplet exposures (aerosolized liquid) have been reduced and regulated chemical reductions in the range of 73-100% have been seen. This approach also has the potential of increasing contractor product yields by up to 20% by elimination of wall trimming and disposal. By not trimming, contractors would also avoid another potential concern - airborne foam dust that can be inhaled or may blow into adjacent areas. INTRoDUCTIoN AND SCoPE Contractors installing conventional polyurethane foam by normal free-spray methods utilize pressures in the range of 800-1300psi. This high pressure results in the formation of very fine airborne liquid droplets which, for poorly protected workers, can easily come into contact with the human body resulting in adverse skin, lung and allergy related effects. Specifically, these droplets contain unreacted chemicals such as amine catalysts, isocyanate, and fire retardants which may travel some distance from the applicator, and can be drawn through the air by exhaust fans and other air currents, potentially to nearby areas. Due to the above resulting concerns, Gaco Western has applied significant effort and creativity involving new approaches toward the reduction of these hazards. One of these approaches is described herein. Project - Phase 1: Field Sprays and Air Quality Collections. Focus: Occupational exposure. Completion Date: August 2015. Project - Phase 2: Controlled Chamber Sprays and Air Quality Collections. Focus: Occupational, trade, occupant exposure and reentry. Completion Date: December 2015. The two types of membranes that Gaco Western uses are GacoProWeb (pictured), an open mesh spun-bond polypropylene for moderate and southern climates, and GacoProFilm, a continuous fiber reinforced polyethylene film that is a class 1 vapor retarder suitable for northern climates. www.sprayfoam.org | sprayfoam Professional 37 http://www.sprayfoam.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SPRAYFOAM Professional - Winter 2015

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S CORNER
PRESIDENT’S POST
FOAM BUSINESS NEWS
SPFA TODAY
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
SAFETY FIRST
Sprayfoam 2016 Convention & Expo – February 8-11, 2016
SPFA’s History Proves Our Perseverance
ABAA NEWS
SPF Research on Air Quality – PART 1
2015 SPFA CONTRACTOR AWARDS
MAKING MONEY: Paint Your Own Picture of Success
ASK THE EXPERT
UPCOMING EVENTS
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS

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