Health, Safety and Product Stewardship

Unreacted Diisocyanates in Spray Polyurethane Foam and
Action from California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC)

In March 2014, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) listed Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Systems containing “unreacted” or “wet” diisocyanates as a test case for its new Safer Consumer Products Regulation. Diisocyanates are well-studied and regulatory limits exist for MDI, a diisocyanate, used in SPF.

Polyurethane products improve our lives by helping to provide a better standard of living at home, at work, and at play. Polyurethanes can be found in liquid coatings and paints, tough elastomers such as roller blade wheels, rigid insulation for buildings, soft flexible foam in mattresses and automotive seats, or as an integral skin in sporting goods such as skis and surfboards.

Polyurethane is a versatile material that is capable of an almost infinite number of variations in chemistry, structure and application. However, the manufacturing or application of polyurethane products may potentially expose workers to a variety of health or safety issues. Working with raw materials and hot products; moving, storing, and transporting chemicals; and working in confined or elevated spaces are all potential risks to which polyurethane workers may be exposed. 

As an industry advocate, CPI offers a host of materials that can help companies understand the health and safety issues related to using polyurethanes and polyurethane raw materials. CPI helps provide information about human health effects and the environment for the polyurethane industry, and also reviews new and existing data to address developing issues and trends.

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Visit to learn more health and safety information about installing spray polyurethane foam.

You can also find CPI guidance documents, product stewardship literature and other resources at our Resources and Document Library.