Ethanolamine is used as a blowing agent to increase the stability of spray polyurethane foam (SPF).

How can this chemical affect my health?

Acute (Short Term) Effects

icon_toxic-orange.png Toxic to Humans & Animals – Can be fatal on contact, ingestion or inhalation for humans and other mammals.

eye-orange.png Irritates the Eyes – Can cause irritation or serious damage to the eye.

corrosive-yellow.png Irritates the Skin – Can cause irritation or serious damage to the skin.

Chronic (Long Term) Effects

cancer-red.png Asthma Trigger – Can result in high sensitivity so that small quantities trigger asthma, nose or sinus inflammation or other allergic reactions in the respiratory system.

dna-orange.png Sensitizes the Skin – Can lead to allergic reactions on the skin.

dna-orange.png Birth Defects – Can cause harm to the developing child including birth defects, low birth weight and biological or behavioral problems that appear as the child grows.

cancer-red.png Brain/Nervous System Harm – Can cause damage to the nervous system including the brain.

What are safer alternatives?

  • GOOD – Exposure occurs during installation and curing, so remain outside the home during that time.
  • BETTER – Use in limited circumstances where SPF is the only viable option, such as uneven interior foundation walls
  • BEST – Consider other types of insulation, such as formaldehyde free mineral wool or fiberglass, cellulose, sheep’s wool, cotton or cementitous foam.

+ Other chemicals in SPF cannot be avoided simply by waiting for insulation to cure, so consider all aspects before deciding to use SPF.

Effects detailed above can occur at various stages of the product’s lifetime, not just during usage. All have been included to provide a complete picture of the chemical’s danger.