From: By Paul Schaefer, ENN
Published August 7, 2007 06:20 PM

Formaldehyde-Free Insulation Meets Growing Consumer Demands

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 2 -- For many homeowners, "going green" means moving beyond energy-efficient appliances and windows to encompass the totality of building materials and techniques. And with approximately $10 billion worth of "green" buildings under construction just last year, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), building contractors are looking to oblige. Now new technology allows manufacturers to make fiberglass insulation without the use of formaldehyde -- a known carcinogen -- helping contractors and consumers.

The first ever environmentally advanced alternative

The new technology, "Aquaset(TM) acrylic thermosetting technology" from Rohm and Haas is the first ever environmentally advanced alternative to formaldehyde in the production of high-performance fiberglass insulation. During the manufacture of insulation batting, filaments of fiber are spun from molten sand and bound together with a resin. Until now, that resin typically contained formaldehyde, a compound coming under increasing scrutiny by environmental regulatory agencies worldwide. New water-based Aquaset resin enables manufacturers to offer fiberglass insulation with performance that is comparable, under the same conditions, to traditional insulation, but made without formaldehyde emissions.

Benefits to contractors

The technology offers advantages over formaldehyde-containing insulation:


-- Freedom from formaldehyde emissions during and after installation

-- Similar R-values

-- Comparable compressibility, moldability and recovery

-- Superior resistance to sagging and deterioration, even in high humidity


-- Distinctive bright white batting that appeals to homeowners

According to a recent survey, it's not just builders of new homes that can benefit from the rapidly growing trend to go green. About 40 percent of people who recently had home remodeling or renovation work completed in their homes reported that green products or materials were used. In addition to being motivated by lower operating and maintenance costs, nearly half of the homeowners said that they were motivated by environmental concerns and their family's health.

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