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California Classifies Polyurethane Foam as a “Priority Product”

  

Apr 14, 2017

    

The March 27 edition of Chemical Engineering News notes that California wishes to place polyurethane foam, widely used to seal crevices and openings in poultry houses, as a “priority product”.

At issue is the presence of methylene diphenyl diisocyanates (MDI) in polyurethane foam. Manufacturers oppose the action. The American Chemistry Council maintains that the polyurethane foam incorporating MDI is well studied and adequately controlled and the insulation does not meet California’s criteria for listing as a “priority product” with implied potential health risks.

  

The Toxic Substances Control Act preempts most state regulation of chemicals although California claims that there is precedent for MDI representing a potential hazard. Applying the law of unintended consequences, withdrawing polyurethane foam sealing and insulation would be detrimental to the integrity of poultry houses and may lead to intrusion of rodents with a consequential risk of Salmonella infection.