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Systematic evaluation of 1,2-dichloropropane emissions from do-it-yourself spray foam insulation products

Naldzhiev, D; Mumovic, D; Strlič, M; (2022) Systematic evaluation of 1,2-dichloropropane emissions from do-it-yourself spray foam insulation products. Building and Environment , 207 , Article 108439. 10.1016/j.buildenv.2021.108439.

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Abstract

Previous studies found 1,2-dichloropropane (1,2-DCP) emitted from spray foam insulation (SPF) products and it was hypothesised that 1,2-DCP is emitted from cured SPF due to thermal degradation of flame retardants. This study experimentally tested this hypothesis using qualitative and quantitative gas-chromatography-mass-spectrometry (GC-MS) of 1,2-DCP in thirteen SPF products. Multiple batches of each product were tested and 1,2-DCP was found in all samples: raw material (n = 1), emitted during application and curing (n = 12) and emitted from cured products (n = 3). The flame retardants previously hypothesised as the source of 1,2-DCP were spiked onto Tenax-TA tubes and analysed, but no 1,2-DCP was detected. Our experimental data needs a new hypothesis to fully explain the presence of 1,2-DCP. We hypothesise that 1,2-DCP could be present in raw materials used in industrial processing or potentially enter as an impurity resulting from the production process of SPF materials. Our results provide the first experimental evidence of 1,2-DCP emissions during application of do-it-yourself SPF products. 1,2-dichloropropane was classified as a Class 1 carcinogen in 2014, however most occupational exposure limits were developed prior to the re-classification. Further research focusing on health risks is recommended to evaluate optimal balance between energy conservation, chemical exposure, ventilation strategies and materials selection.

Type: Article
Title: Systematic evaluation of 1,2-dichloropropane emissions from do-it-yourself spray foam insulation products
DOI: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2021.108439
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2021.108439
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: Insulation; Volatile organic compound; Flame retardant; Polyurethane; Carcinogen
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10137192
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