OLR Bill Analysis

HB 5248 (as amended by House “A”)*

AN ACT CONCERNING THE PROHIBITION ON THE USE OF UREA-FORMALDEHYDE INSULATION.

SUMMARY:

Current law bans urea-formaldehyde foamed-in-place insulation (UFFI), except for urethane or styrene foam insulation.

This bill (1) restricts the sale and use of all types of foamed-in-place insulating material unless the manufacturer or supplier certifies to the construction services commissioner that the material complies with the bill's specifications and (2) replaces the broad definition of UFFI with a narrower definition that excludes formaldehyde polymers and derivatives. The bill does not define foamed-in-place insulating material, other than UFFI material.

The certification to the commissioner must include (1) a statement that the insulating material is not a UFFI material and has met allowable emissions standards under specified tests and (2) a statement under oath that the material complies with the bill. As under current law, a first violation of the bill is punishable by a fine of up to $ 500 and a subsequent violation by a fine of up to $ 1,000. (Under another law, which this bill does not change, making a false statement under oath is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison, up to a $ 2,000 fine, or both (CGS 53a-157b).

*House Amendment “A” changes the effective date from October 1, 2012 to upon passage and adds the certification provision.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

FOAMED-IN-PLACE INSULATION

Definition

The law bans UFFI installation. Under current law, “UFFI” means cellular plastic thermal material, irrespective of how generated, containing chemical formaldehyde, formaldehyde polymers or derivatives, or other chemicals that can release formaldehyde. It does not include urethane foam insulation or styrene foam insulation.

The bill replaces this definition of UFFI with a narrower one that excludes references to formaldehyde polymers and derivatives and formaldehyde releasing chemicals. Under the bill, “UFFI insulation material” means “a cellular plastic insulation material generated in a continuous stream by mixing a urea-formaldehyde based resin, air, and a foaming agent. ” It is unclear if urethane and styrene foam insulation continues to be exempt under this definition.

Certification

The bill prohibits the sale or installation of foamed-in-place insulating material in any building unless the manufacturer or supplier certifies to the construction services commissioner that the material meets certain specifications. The certification must contain the following information:

1. the manufacturer's name;

2. a description of the type of insulating material being certified in sufficient detail to permit its identification, which description may include information sheets, brochures, a sample label for the product, or similar information;

3. a statement that the insulating material is not a UFFI material;

4. test results from a laboratory approved by the commissioner certifying that the cured insulating material meets indoor air quality emissions standards of the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute in accordance with (a) tests conducted using an ASTM D6007 modified test method; (b) GREENGUARD Environmental Institute Formaldehyde Free Verification Requirements; or (c) the CAN/ULC-S774-09 Standard Laboratory Guide for the Determination of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Polyurethane Foam.

5. a description of the quality assurance program used by the manufacturer or supplier, including the manufacturer's or supplier's training program for installers of the insulating material; and

6. a statement under oath that the insulating material complies with the bill.

BACKGROUND

Urea Formaldehyde Foamed-in-Place Insulation

UFFI consists of urea, formaldehyde, and a surfactant or foaming agent. At an installation site, the urea-formaldehyde resin and foaming agent are combined with air. It is then injected inside the walls, where it hardens and acts as insulation.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Safety and Security Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

21

Nay

0

(03/01/2012)