Tel: 1300 307 877
24 hour serious incident and fatality reporting line
Freecall: 1800 678 198
Mason Bird Building
303 Sevenoaks St
Cannington WA 6107
View on Google Maps
Urea formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI) is a mixture of urea formaldehyde resin, foaming agent and propellant, which was used to insulate hard to access areas in buildings.
UFFI was used in 50,000-70,000 Australian homes, although it is no longer used in this way. The extent of use in commercial buildings is unknown.
Following installation of the insulation, indoor formaldehyde air levels were raised temporarily, causing irritation to some residents. Formaldehyde is irritating to the eyes, nose, throat and skin and is a skin sensitiser. Formaldehyde concentrations generally returned to background levels within a few days to a few months of UFFI installation. Touching or inhaling breakdown particles of UFFI may cause skin or respiratory irritation, however this does not normally occur except during work that disturbs the insulation.
Whilst formaldehyde is classified as carcinogenic, very low levels of formaldehyde are common in indoor and outdoor air and such levels are not associated with increased cancer risks. More information on cancer risks at different air levels is available from NICNAS.
In-situ UFFI does not generally present a health risk, and does not need to be removed unless it is in poor condition (e.g. breaking down and releasing dust into occupied areas).