Flame Retardants in Foam Insulation Under Attack

For many years, opponents of foam insulation have been attempting to find a way to eliminate it since these opponents have claimed that its contents were detrimental to human and animal health. They have used governmental decisions in Europe as the main basis of their claims, but they also have also used scientific studies that have been rebutted with other studies.


At the recent code hearings of the International Code Council (ICC), these opponents of foam insulation initiated a code change proposal that would prohibited the use of flame retardants in foam insulation.  If passed, the code change would have the effect of calling into question whether EIFS could pass the required fire testing for EIFS.  During the hearing, pro foam insulation interests, including EIMA, prevailed and defeated the proposed code change.  The code change is expected to be reviewed again during the final ICC code hearings this October in Atlantic City.


Although this immediate threat has been turned back, the California Assembly is actively considering a bill that will ban flame retardants from foam insulation.  The bill is California Assembly Bill 127 (CA AB 127), and it has passed the California Assembly as well as a key California Senate committee. Though amendments have been made, EIMA continues to stand with others in opposing this piece of legislation.


EIMA has called to the California legislature’s attention the fact that thousands of homes in California as well as hundreds of commercial buildings, including those in the retail, hospitality, healthcare, and commercial office rental industries have EIFS on them.  Further, enacting a law that is based on presumptions and not on scientific fact has the highly damaging effect of de-valuing all the homes and buildings in California that currently use EIFS and foam insulation by essentially citing them as health hazards.  EIMA noted that EIFS use foam insulation as a primary component for this most green and energy efficient exterior wall cladding and that AB 127, if enacted, will effectively ban the use of foam insulation when this nation needs all the energy efficiency measures that can be easily employed.  EIFS is one of those measures.  It is a highly economical way to achieve energy efficiency for the typical homebuyer and building owner.



EIMA asks you to contact your California State Senators urging them to vote against AB 127.


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