The insulation was used in the 1970′s, most extensively from 1975 to 1978, during the period of the Canadian Home Insulation Program (CHIP), when financial incentives were offered by the government to upgrade home insulation levels. Pure UF resins are widely used where moisture resistance is not required. Similarly, we would ask mortgage lenders not to penalize those who have UFFI in their homes. This type of insulation gradually degrades over the years and falls to the bottom of the cavity making it less efficient the older it becomes. UFFI was not a do-it-yourself product. It is the sincere hope of the authors that the market place will respond appropriately. “All CD inspections are handled professionally and done in a way that the home buyer does not feel anxiety about any issues that are discovered.”, — Al Daimee, Royal LePage Real Estate Services, “I wouldn’t use anyone else but Carson And Dunlop for my inspections.”, — Cindy Daly, Royal Le Page Johnston & Daniel, “Sheila. It is found in dry cleaning chemicals, paper products, no-iron fabrics, diapers, pillow cases, the glue in particle board and plywood, cosmetics, paints, cigarette smoke, and the exhaust from automobiles, gas appliances, fireplaces, wood stoves. Research was initiated to evaluate the problem, and to determine what should be done. Very detail-oriented. Urea-formaldehyde insulation is a foam sprayed between wall cavities. While very popular in Canada in the late 1970s, it was banned there in 1980. Many products use formaldehyde during the manufacturing process. A question we get asked a lot about urea-formaldehyde foam insulation is; Is it dangerous? Most insulation that is older than 10 years’ old that is not fibreglass batts can contain formaldehyde (even if not UFFI), and warrants an inspection from the professionals at InsulGuard Insulation. A court case which eventually set records was initiated in Quebec, in which the claimants accused the federal government, manufacturers and others of bringing a dangerous material to the market. Toxicity from this insulation is related to release of free formaldehyde into the home. This allows formaldehyde gas to be released into the air of a UFFI-insulated building. Your email address will not be published. Urea formaldehyde insulation was manufactured in the fifties but became popular in the seventies as energy prices began to rise. Insulated With Urea Formaldehyde Foam This started to raise government suspicions about the insulation. If you have urea-formaldehyde foam insulation in your property it may be worth considering removing and replacing the insulation to improve the efficiency of your home, and to avoid any potential health implications if the insulation becomes disturbed. Products made of urea formaldehyde can release formaldehyde gas; products made of phenol formaldehyde generally emit lower levels of the gas. The National Research Council of Canada (August 1981), Exposure To High Concentration Of Formaldehyde. They couldn’t find any UFFI insulated houses with formaldehyde gas levels above 0.1 ppm, let alone 0.5 ppm or 1.0 ppm. The Institute For Research In Construction UFFI was a type of insulation that was widely used around the World, including Canada, USA, and Europe. Development Of A Canadian Standard For Urea Formaldehyde Thermal Wall Insulation Diazolidinyl Urea is a … I have in my cavity Urea Formaldehyde insulation, which was put in 23years ago. If you’ve got issues of any other nature with your Cavity Wall Insulation that may be down to the installer not following proper guidelines as to the install. None were linked to UFFI. This expanding foam insulation was mixed on-site and then pumped into building wall or other cavities in older buildings which were not previously insulated. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, D.C. (1990), Builder’s Note #3 – Formaldehyde Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. As you can imagin it is now dust. As the body of information grew, it became clear that finding a single house that exceeded this very conservative threshold level was going to be a challenge. Information Bulletin – Purchase Of A Home Insulated With UFFI Overview. Urea formaldehyde foam insulation In the 1970s and ’80s, there was a rush to insulate thousands of homes as quickly and cheaply as possible – and this saw the widespread use of formaldehyde foam insulation, sprayed into cavity walls. Information Booklet – UFFI However, studies done after the ban showed increased reporting of symptoms, even for such things as constipation and deafness which have no biological basis. They provide a very cost effective solution for general applications with short cure times and low cure temperatures. Formaldehyde is colorless, but has a very strong odor, which can generally be detected at concentrations above one part per million. Indeed, while not statistically significant, the homes tested were found, on average, to have formaldehyde levels slightly below that of homes of similar ages without UFFI. The National Research Council of Canada (April 1981), Building Practice Note #23 – Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation Hamilton, Ontario, Warning On Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation Those charged with the task of designing and refining remedial measures set out to find the worst cases to test their theories, but they encountered an unexpected problem. Contact Wall Cavity Claims today on free phone 0800-8-654321 or visit www.wallcavityclaims.co.uk, Your email address will not be published. The foam was machine mixed on-site, and injected into wall cavities where it expanded to fill the cavity. UFFI is still used in Europe, where it was never banned and is considered one of the better “retrofit” insulations. Ambient formaldehyde levels in houses are typically .03 to .04 parts per million. Information Bulletin – Formaldehyde Urea formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI) has been out of the spotlight, but going into a lot of buildings—often being referred to as Amino Foam. mold and fungi, dust mites, and un-named “UFFI gases” were all investigated as possibilities. UFFI or Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation was an insulation retrofit product used in the 1970's. EPA makes use of the time period “formaldehyde” to cover both free formaldehyde gasoline and methylene glycol, or formaldehyde solution, on its stock of chemicals manufactured or imported into the U.S. (EPA 2010A). It is typically made at a construction site from a mixture of urea-formaldehyde resin, a foaming agent and compressed air. (Again, while this may not be statistically significant, it suggests that low levels of formaldehyde are not harmful.). A. Formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling gas, and is a very common industrial and commercial chemical. WHAT IF YOU HAVE DAMP PROBLEMS IN YOUR HOUSE? An example use may be within a cavity wall insulation system. Urea formaldehyde (UF) resins are very reactive and suitable for gluing all wood species as well as applications in insulation and firelighter manufacture. In working on major updates and expansions to The BuildingGreen Guide to Insulation, we’ve had an opportunity to dig into some of the insulation products out there that you don't hear so much about. Urea formaldehyde foam is a relatively inexpensive, easily installed, and efficient insulation. UFFI or Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation was an insulation retrofit product used in the 1970's. The National Research Council of Canada (1981),  Building Practice Note #19 – Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation  UFFI was installed in many thousands of homes throughout North America in the early 1970’s to help reduce fuel consumption used for heating and cooling during the energy crisis of that time period. UFFI is a foam, like shaving cream, that is easily injected or pumped into walls. Booklet About UFFI Energy Mines Resources Canada, An Update On Formaldehyde  You can book your home inspection online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It became known that the levels of formaldehyde decrease rapidly after the foam has been installed. The highest levels were found in homes with brand new carpeting which were tested on a hot summer day. In the past, urea formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI) was installed in wall cavities of houses for the purpose of energy conservation. It is estimated that over 100,000 homes in Canada were insulated with UFFI (commonly pronounced “you-fee”). Formaldehyde is both a naturally occurring chemical, and an industrial chemical. Formaldehyde in the insulation, even if properly installed, reacts with heat and humidity in the air. UFFI is one of the most thoroughly investigated, and most innocuous building products we have used. (UFFI) was developed in Europe in the 1950s as an improved means of insulating difficult-to-reach cavities in house walls. Urea-formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI) was developed in Europe in the 1950s as an improved means of insulating difficult-to-reach cavities in house walls. In April 1983, the U.S. Court of Appeal struck down the law because there was no substantial evidence clearly linking UFFI to health complaints. By comparison, typical levels in the smoking section of a cafeteria are 0.16 ppm. By: Alan Carson Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd. and John Caverly, Building Inspection Consultants & Associates. Very quickly, fear and suspicion led to the conclusion that a problem must exist. Long term health implications are less known; however, some studies suggest formaldehyde could be a possible human carcinogen, capable of causing cancer in humans, under conditions of unusually high or prolonged exposure. Like many new and fast growing industries (particularly those supported by government grants), workmanship and quality control were often less than perfect. About urea formaldehyde-based foam insulation (UFFI) Urea formaldehyde-based thermal insulation (UFFI): is a foam that was once used to insulate buildings has been banned in Canada under the Hazardous Products Act since 1980 This involved an extremely air-tight and poorly ventilated mobile home, apparently with a poorly-mixed, half-formed UFFI. This is mainly due to an increase in the usage of pressed wood produc… Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation (UFFI) is a home insulation made of urea formaldehyde resin and a foaming agent, blown or pumped into the walls and ceiling. Mild to incapacitating symptoms have been reported in occupants of urea formaldehyde-insulated homes. (In other mobile home studies, any elevated levels of formaldehyde were traced to the panelling or carpets, not UFFI.) The initial threshold level set for formaldehyde gas was 1.0 part per million (ppm). It is not the purpose of this paper to determine why or how all of this controversy arose without any proof. The presence of UFFI does not affect the amount of formaldehyde in the indoor air. Required fields are marked *. I have been told that the cavity wall insulators will sort this … Within several days of the application, formaldehyde levels typically return to ambient house levels. It was commonly used in existing houses by injecting the foam into areas, such as behind walls, where it was impractical to provide conventional insulation. This expanding foam insulation was mixed on-site and then pumped into building wall or other cavities in older buildings which were not previously insulated. The National Research Council of Canada (1985), Mr. Bob Platts – Scanada Consultants Limited – Ottawa, Ontario, Dr. Geoffrey Norman – Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics Broder, I., Cole, P., Corey, P., Lipa, M., Mintz, S. & Nethercott, J. Rosen, (1988)  “Environmental Research, Volume 45″, Pages 141 – 203. Even in the few houses that tested at levels approaching 0.1 ppm, these results were rarely duplicated in subsequent testing. There are two types of formaldehyde resins: urea formaldehyde (UF) and phenol formaldehyde (PF). Lawyer’s Weekly (July 7, 1989). It was commonly used in existing houses by injecting the foam into areas, such as behind walls, where it was impractical to provide conventional insulation. Urea-formaldehyde foam insulation is typically is a white foam and can appear as either still intact in a hard foam or broken down in a powder form. Join the tens of thousands of satisfied clients who got peace of mind with a Carson Dunlop home inspection. The threshold level became very conservative, indeed. Toxicity from this insulation is related to release of free formaldehyde into the home. LANDLORDS AND CAVITY WALL INSULATION PROBLEMS, Cavity Wall Insulation Failure, Energy Loss & Financial Liability, Problems caused by Cavity Wall Insulation can be harder to spot than you might think, British Gas and FAILED Wall Cavity Insulation – The Big 6. UFFI Insulation - What Was the Urea Formaldehyde Insulation Worry. It is a retrofit upgrade and easily injected into an existing wall using hoses. The thermal resistance of a standard stud wall foamed with urea formaldehyde foam insulation has been measured in an in-situ test under field conditions. Urea formaldehyde foam is a relatively inexpensive, easily installed, and efficient insulation. In fact, in reviewing several thousand files, not one house was found with levels of formaldehyde which remained above 0.1 ppm! We would further urge real estate associations and boards across Canada to consider dropping the UFFI clause from purchase contracts. UFFI is a low density foam that has the appearance and consistency of shaving cream, and becomes stiff and self supporting when it dries or cures (hardens). Formaldehyde consistently ranks among the top 50 manufacturing chemicals by volume. Laboratory Test: Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation (UFFI/UFI) LCS Laboratory Inc., offers laboratory tests for the detection of formaldehyde in foam insulation . UFFI was used in 50,000-70,000 Australian homes, although it is no longer used in this way. It has a reasonably good R value (thermal resistance). Information Bulletin – Information Update It is foam with the consistency of shaving cream. The Globe & Mail Newspaper (March 29, 1986), Consumer and Corporate Affairs Canada (UFFI Center) Division of Building Research I would like it removed but cannot find a company in the UK that will remove it. One of the first problem cases involving formaldehyde was in the United States. 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