Sacramento, California – The proposal by California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control to list spray polyurethane foam that contain unreacted MDI as priority products under the state’s Safer Consumer Products Program has caused consternation among industry bodies.
“We are deeply disappointed by DTSC’s decision,” said the American Chemistry Council in a statement. “In the more than three years since SPF was first suggested for this program, industry has provided extensive data and science to DTSC that clearly illustrates SPF does not meet the minimum listing criteria set by the department’s own regulations.”
The SPF chemical/product combination is well studied and controlled, ACC added, and multiple regulatory controls are already in place to address the risk of worker exposure to unreacted MDI. Furthermore, ACC claimed that the state’s own public health monitoring programme reports no incidence of workplace asthma related to SPF or MDI in the past decade.
The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance also expressed disappointment. “While SPFA understands and emphasizes that the recent DTSC announcement is not a ban of spray polyurethane foam (or the use of diisocyanates found in a multitude of consumer products), it considers the announcement unfortunate as it undermines the desire among California private and professional customers’ for a safe and effective building product that delivers on performance,” SPFA said in a statement.
“There are several aspects of this DTSC announcement in California that the industry finds troubling, including department references and comparisons to specific isocyanates material in SPF that are not actually in SPF, unqualified references to asthma rates among workers in the polyurethanes industry, unproven statements as to ‘suspected’ medical consequences of exposure, and the assertion by DTSC that they have reached out to stakeholders including manufacturers and contractors in advance of this development,” said Kurt Riesenberg, SPFA’s executive director. “Our members in California did not receive contact from the DTSC prior to the announcement.”