Health and Safety Guidelines for Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Professionals
Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Overview
Follow the safe handling guidance when working with the SPF pre-mix chemicals and throughout every stage of the installation. Application by unprotected workers could result in overexposure to the SPF chemicals, which can pose potential health hazards.
SPF professionals may come across several types of SPF. One type is two component high-pressure SPF that is often used in professional interior or exterior SPF insulation and roofing applications during new construction or major renovations. Other types are two component low-pressure kits/systems (information found in the Weatherization section) and one component foam (more information in the Do-It-Yourself section). Learn More.
Potential Health Hazards of SPF Chemicals
It is critical to follow all safety and health guidelines when applying SPF. Before work begins, read and understand information contained in your supplier’s Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and safe handling guidance for both the A and B side components you are using. Learn More.
Always read and understand the manufacturers’ Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and drum or container labels for SPF and other materials before you start your application. Many different variables are present during SPF application, so evaluate each application and job site individually so that appropriate worker protection is implemented. Learn More.
HVAC systems are typically shut down…. System shut down stops the drawing of dusts, aerosols and/or vapors into interior spaces. Once the HVAC system is shut down, securely sealing the air intakes with plastic sheeting and tape will prevent dust and spray from entering the intakes.
There are many factors to consider when planning a SPF installation. Will the work take place in an occupied building or a building under construction? Should the entire building be vacated? Should other trades/workers be present at the time of application? Learn More.
It is critical to avoid inhalation of, and skin and eye contact with, SPF chemicals, for applicators, helpers, occupants, and adjacent workers. The following good practices include engineering controls, work practices, and PPE intended to reduce the potential for exposure to SPF chemicals via inhalation or skin or eye contact. Learn More.
Homeowner/Building Occupant Outreach
SPF professionals and their helpers benefit from professional training regarding the hazards associated with SPF application. Absent dedicated outreach, building occupants may not be aware of the potential health hazards associated with SPF application or appropriate safety precautions to minimize the risk. Learn More.
Reoccupancy and Reentry
Reoccupancy time is the time elapsed after installation of SPF insulation in a building when it is deemed safe for building occupants or residents to resume normal building operations and activities. Reentry is the time elapsed after installation of SPF in a building when it is deemed safe for applicators, helpers and other trade workers to enter the building and resume operations without the need for personal protective equipment (PPE). These times are dependent on a number of factors, including SPF formulation, the amount of foam applied per volume of space, temperature, humidity, the degree of ventilation and other variables. In addition to the release of airborne SPF chemicals during spray application, certain components can be liberated from some newly installed SPF products for a short period of time following installation. Contact your supplier for guidance on ventilation rates, and reoccupancy and reentry times. Learn More about Reoccupancy. Learn More.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Even with effective engineering controls, personnel who work with SPF chemicals still need to wear appropriate PPE. This section provides general information about PPE. Although not exhaustive, the information provided may complement information contained within your company’s safety program, as well as the SDS. An SDS is an important source of safety and handling information for a product. Learn More.
Disposal of SPF Chemicals
This provides general guidance related to disposal of SPF chemicals. Not covered here are the many other materials and chemicals that may be present at a job site, including but not limited to solvents, oils and fuels, coatings, primers, and other chemicals, all of which may have separate and very specific waste disposal requirements under applicable law. Learn More.
Although infrequent, spills and releases of A- and B-side chemicals can occur. If this happens, it is important to take immediate action to minimize any health risks and environmental contamination.
A spill or release is the unplanned discharge of a material to the ground, water, or air. It is advisable to have an emergency spill containment kit available that contains absorbent materials such as clay, pads, or socks to contain or minimize the affected area. Learn More.
OSHA Regulations Relating to Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Application. Learn More.