June 2011 NY Times Article - Styrenes In Building Insulation Bad - Possible Carcinogen

One more article on why we believe building a home out of polystyrene panels could be dangerous to your health.  For a variety of reasons it's crazy to us that the vast majority of SIPs sold in the US are made of polystyrene given the lower insulation values, presence of VOCs (residual pentane) and generally high moisture permeability values not to mention that most spline systems can be quite labor intensive.  We believe the main reason for this market leadership is because they are CHEAP in price - and we believe you get what you pay for.  Seriously, the most significant investment most Americans will make in their life is buying a home, and you want to build a home out of polystyrene?

"Studies of workers exposed to high levels of styrene have found increased risks of leukemia and lymphoma and genetic damage to white blood cells. There is also some evidence that styrene increases the risks of cancer of the pancreas and esophagus among styrene workers, the report found. Consumers can be exposed to styrene from the fumes of building materials, photocopiers and tobacco smoke."

hmmm... so the study lumps exposure to styrenes in building materials with tobacco smoke.  nice....

And of course not surprisingly... "Its [the report's] release was delayed for years because of intense lobbying from the chemical industry, which disputed its findings."

I understand that the industry does not agree with these findings, but given this latest report we do not believe that surrounding your loved ones in a home having an envelope of 6, 8 or even 12 inches of polystyrene foam (remember they need much more foam than polyurethane to achieve the same R values) would be a good thing for the long-term health of the family.

For a link to the full NY Times article from June of 2011, click here.  For a link to the full scientific report from the National Toxicology Program click here.

This article also discusses the dangers of formaldehyde in products, which we take very seriously.  Our polyurethane foam contains no formaldeydes or styrenes - ZERO.  Note all pressed wood products used by Eco-Panels fall under the category - recognized as safe - of having "no added formaldehyde".  While this may sound suspicious, never let anyone tell you a wood product contains "No formaldehyde" or is "Formaldehyde Free".  The fact is wood contains naturally occurring formaldehyde in trace amounts, so the proper way would be for wood product manufacturers to simply state that there is "no added formaldehyde" in their binding solutions, etc.