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Introduction to Polyurethane Foam

Posted June 9, 2015

Polyurethane foam insulation is one of the most popular kinds of insulation serving the greater Seattle area, and it comes in many forms. Unfortunately, there are many harmful drawbacks associated with this type of foam insulation that may affect the well being of the members of your household as well as the environment. This insulation choice may also be pricier than other options, even though there are many available alternatives. Read on for a brief introduction to polyurethane foam.

Health Concerns

The use of polyurethane foam is questionable due to the hazards it can pose to your general health as well as the health of your family members. This type of insulation emits toxic fumes and chemicals. This is not safe for healthy people, but it can be even more problematic for those who suffer from preexisting respiratory conditions as well as allergies. If you get this foam in your eyes, you may experience temporary blindness if you do not quickly and thoroughly rinse it out. Those who are exposed to polyurethane foam insulation may also experience restricted airflow and irritated breathing. Inhaling polyurethane foam fumes can be more dangerous or even deadly, which is why it is important that a professional installed this type of insulation and uses the proper safety equipment.

Environmental Risks

In addition to being harmful to your health and that of your family, polyurethane foam can also harm the environment. Polyurethane foam insulation requires the use of fossil fuels in its production and the blowing agents produce greenhouse gases that are harmful to the environment. After a few years, this type of insulation will also lose its ability to insulate. This means that it will decline in efficiency throughout its working life and call for replacements.


There are many alternatives that you may use instead of polyurethane foam, and they are typically less expensive. Fiberglass insulation is another popular type of insulation that can be installed easily. Cellulose insulation may be one of the most effective forms; it enhances the energy efficiency of your home so you can enjoy lower energy bills, and it works naturally.