Some VOCs are dangerous to human health and breathing in these compounds have not been fully studied or understood as to the effects on human health. (More About VOCs)
Does NOT use HCFCs, CFC or Formaldehyde
A small amount of pentane is incorporated into the expandable polystyrene granules as a expanding agent. It is a saturated hydrocarbon, not to be confused with HCFCs and CFCs. Pentane is non-toxic and constitutes no threat to the ozone layer.
From the EPA:
“Diisocyanates are well known dermal and inhalation sensitizers in the workplace and have been documented to cause asthma, lung damage, and in severe cases, fatal reactions.”
From the CDC:
"There is evidence that both respiratory and dermal exposures can lead to sensitization. Death from severe asthma in some sensitized subjects has been reported." Learn More
The proof is really in the long-term testing. Study after study shows that EPS's R-value stay consistent. The science is simple - air is air. No chemical changes and certainly no higher r-value chemical escaping out. In fact, EPS is 98% air.
EPS is great to use below ground as well. Unlike other rigid insulation, EPS does not leach or contaminate the surrounding soil. This is why the preference to use EPS in Geofoam underground for highways and soil support and fill. (See Geofoam)
Plymouth Foam has been monitoring and watching EPS and its effects to the environment near its Plymouth, WI plant for many years. Long- term Government research is going on currently. This is what we can report - there is no pollution to the surface or underground water supplies near an EPS plant because atmospheric and liquid emissions are very low during the manufacture of EPS.
Moisture contamination before construction has also become a big concern. (See ACEA Technical Bulletin) Many contractors have reported ISO Board cupping/warping with moisture/drying contamination.
Foil faced Polyiso versus glass faced Polyiso is different. Foil faced tends to deal with moisture much better, unfortunately foil faced is rarely used in low sloped roofing.
Polyiso biggest design advantage is fire resistance. Even though some would argue that the chemical used are harmful, Polyiso does offer good resistance to fire exposure, however the toxicity level of burning Polyiso is much higher than EPS.
Tapered system is another huge advantage to EPS. We make tapered pitch sloped EPS in 16 standard pitches but we can custom make almost anything designable.
EPS can also be combined with other material to offer custom solutions. Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) and Nail Base adhere OSB and EPS together.
LTTR really looks at Long-Term Thermal Performance of insulation as 5 years. Do we expect a building to last only five years? How is 5 years a true quantitative analysis of R-value performance?
We do not replace insulation in a building every 5 years, why would we think that is long-term? Most building in the U.S. are built to last 50 years, some 100 years.
EPS is really the best bet performance wise and economically. (How is EPS the best Value)
Many experts believe that Polyiso is not a very environmentally friendly product due in part lack of recyclablity. There are no collection bins or full scale programs for Polyiso like we see for EPS.
When a roof needs to be replaced, where does that old insulation go?
ISO insulation is not recyclable and goes to the landfill.
Post Consumer EPS Recycling Rates
We believe that higher priced rigid insulation, that losses much of its thermal residence over time, is not a good value or investment. See Chart