UFFI / Formaldehyde

Residential Services

Formaldehyde is known to be carcinogenic. Levels typically found in houses are generally too low to cause cancer. However, prolonged exposure to moderate levels can cause irritation of the nose, eyes and throat. It may also intensify asthma symptoms. Health Canada considers that indoor air presented no issue with levels below 50 μg/m3 (0.04 ppm). However, prolonged exposure to more than 50 μg/m3 (0.04 ppm) could lead to health problems, particularly in children. At 123 μg/m3 (0.1 ppm), risk of irritation or burning sensation in the eyes, nose and throat increase. 6

Urea-Formaldehyde Foam Insulation (UFFI)

Marketed in the 60s in Europe, UFFI was widely used in the 70s in Quebec, before being banned in 1980. It was mainly used to insulate outer walls between brick layers and interior walls of the house. You can spot that UFFI was used by the presence of finishing points in the brick joints that fill injection cavities every 2 to 3 feet.

Most formaldehyde released by UFFI happened at the moment of, or a bit after installation of the product. As it was banned in 1980, and most major cases decontaminated shortly afterwards, it is now rare to find house insulated with UFFI that release high levels of formaldehyde in the air.

In some cases, the product deteriorates with time and humidity. It thus releases fine particles of UFFI, or formaldehyde vapours, which linger in indoor air. An air analysis will ensure that your home meets safety standards.

For further info on UFFI or formaldehyde, call us at (514) 360-3386 or click below.

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6« Guideline on residential indoor air quality: Formaldehyde”, Health Canada, 2006, ISBN nº : 0-662-71180-7 ISBN nº : 0-662-71180-7