PFAS and SPF
What are PFAS?
PFAS is an acronym for a family of chemicals called per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances. These chemicals are used in a wide range of consumer products due to their resistance to grease, water, oil and heat. PFAS are used in stain- and water-resistant fabrics and carpeting, cleaning products, paints, and fire-fighting foams. Certain PFAS are also authorized by the FDA for limited use in non-stick cookware, food packaging, and food processing equipment.
What is the concern with PFAS?
PFAS do not easily breakdown and some types have been shown to accumulate in the environment and in our bodies. Exposure to some types PFAS have been linked to serious health effects.
Current PFAS legislation and the impact on SPF
Based on these concerns, several state governments across the US have introduced legislation to control the use of PFAS. The concern for the spray foam industry is that an overly broad definition of PFAS and the wide scope of the legislative language in some states could have a negative impact on the use of both HFC and HFO based blowing agents used in closed-cell SPF. The impact could include significant reporting requirements for foam manufacturers and contractors and potentially a restriction or ban on the use of closed-cell SPF.
The fact is that the EPA TSCA (Toxic Substance Control Act) Program's definition of PFAS does not include HFO or HFC blowing agents used in closed-cell SPF. SPFA encourages states to develop legislation and regulations consistent with the EPA's definition of PFAS.
The SPFA, working together with the American Chemistry Council, is monitoring all state and federal legislation concerning PFAS restrictions. When necessary, SPFA will engage with state legislatures through the SPFAdvocacy Network to contact key state officials to voice our opposition to PFAS legislation that directly impacts the use of spray polyurethane foam. Please watch for and respond to any SPFAction Alerts concerning PFAS legislation in your state.