News Release

T – 8 – 20
Meredith Williams, Director

July 1, 2020

Contact: Sanford (Sandy) Nax
(916) 327-6114
Abbott Dutton

California to Spray Foam Insulation Makers: Look Harder for Safer Alternatives

DTSC Issues Notice of Deficiency; Orders Response in 60 Days

SACRAMENTO – The Department of Toxic Substances Control has issued a Notice of Deficiency to manufacturers of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation systems who claim there is no suitable alternative to a toxic chemical used in their wall and roof insulation products.

DTSC found the Abridged Alternatives Analysis reports from companies participating in the American Chemistry Council’s Spray Foam Coalition to be insufficient.  DTSC is requiring more detailed information within 60 days.

“We received input on the initial reports from a variety of stakeholders, and we directed spray foam manufacturers to address those concerns,” said DTSC Director Meredith Williams. “Their response was inadequate, and we are directing the companies to submit revisions with more information and substantiation.”

Workers who apply SPF insulation are at risk of harming their respiratory systems and developing asthma when exposed to unreacted methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI). SPF is not harmful once it is installed and cured.

The spray foam manufacturers must file revised reports by August 31. If the revisions are not adequate, DTSC can issue a second Notice of Deficiency.

Manufacturers of SPF insulation, as represented by the American Chemistry Council, are asserting there are no functional alternatives to their products. If the industry adequately supports their claims in their Abridged Alternatives Analysis, they will be required to, at a minimum, fund further research into potential alternatives and provide product safety information to consumers. DTSC may require additional responses if necessary.

DTSC’s Safer Consumer Products Program began regulating SPF systems with unreacted MDI in July 2018. State regulations require manufacturers who sell products in California to study whether safer alternatives such as reformulations or product design changes exist, and they must submit a report to DTSC outlining their findings and actions proposed to make their products safer.

The following companies submitted reports: Carlisle Spray Foam Insulation (formerly Accella Polyurethane Systems), A&B Filling Inc., BASF Corporation, DAP Products Inc., Demilec, DuPont, Firestone Building Products, General Coatings Manufacturing Corp., Henry Company LLC, ICP Adhesives & Sealants, Icynene-Lapolla, Johns Manville, Barnhardt Manufacturing Company, SES Foam LLC, SWD Urethanes, and Rhino Linings Corporation.

# # #

FOR GENERAL INQUIRIES: Contact the Department of Toxic Substances Control by phone at (800) 728-6942 or visit To report illegal handling, discharge, or disposal of hazardous waste, call the Waste Alert Hotline at (800) 698-6942.

The mission of DTSC is to protect California’s people and environment from harmful effects of toxic substances by restoring contaminated properties, enforcing hazardous waste law, reducing hazardous waste generation, and encouraging the manufacture of chemically safer products.