Atlanta, Georgia – Recent attempts by pressure groups to change the role of flame retardants in rigid insulating foams have been described as 'not helpful'.
That message came out clearly in a conversation with, Lee Salamone, senior director of CPI ahead of the group's annual meeting here. She said an intervention by Energy Efficiency for All NGO partnership.
Foam insulation materials were listed with products the authors warned against using in their document, A Guide to Healthier Upgrade Materials. The warning was given partly because they contain some halogenated flame retardants or isocyanates.
The pressure group took 'a very simplistic approach and that's why everybody disagreed with it. It's really taking a very one-dimensional look at products that can be used in multi-family housing.'
'I would think that for renovated multi-family housing which has been renovated, spray foam would be a highly desirable product,' said Salamone.
'It fulfils several functions and can help make the building the more durable and resilient. Why shouldn't family in multi-family affordable housing be comfortable?'
The initial results of the pressure are not likely to be effective, she said. 'You have to do a full risk-benefit analysis cost benefit analysis, before you choose building materials.'
Salamone said: 'I think that it would be difficult for flame retardants to be driven out of rigid foam'.
This is because rigid foam and insulation is qualified for use through building codes. 'They are rigorous. There are assembly tests instead of product tests that you could use to qualify materials in different ways'.