Spa Covers Exposed!

Legitimate reasons to re-consider EPS foam spa cover replacement

  1. Most spa covers fail to insulate effectively due to water saturation in one year or less
  2. IARC classifies styrene a probable carcinogen in humans.
  3. Toxic VOC’s released when exposed to Chlorine, Bromine, Ozone or Hydrogen Peroxide
  4. Spa bathers are exposed to neuro-toxins benzene/styrene, PVC from off gassing.
  5. Millions of energy dollars lost every month to water soaked styrene spa covers.
  6. Mountains of styrene spa covers, tossed in American landfills monthly.
  7. Traditional foam spa covers contain a Highly Toxic Carcinogenic HBCD.  Read EPA’s report

View full presentation from the California Energy Commission.

Foam does not insulate… AIR in the foam insulates!

An interstitial gap between foam beads within a spa cover.

An interstitial gap between foam beads within a spa cover.

The average effective insulating value of polystyrene foam/vinyl spa covers is less than one year due to interstitial gaps between foam beads allowing condensation to saturate, naturally. Hot tub cover retailer’s sell vapor barriers that actually help hold that water until cover weight is unmanageable.

Warm water expands air in polystyrene foam until cooler ambient weather condenses it creating water vapor inside the core. Increased differences in heated water temperature and cooler outdoor weather conditions accelerate water permeation accordingly. Water saturated foam covers conduct heat and could cost up to 3 times more to heat a spa on standby ready power. Compounding that problem, this wasteful use of styrene foam renders it non-recyclable as wet foam can harbor microorganisms and mold spores. Other HCFC closed cell foams are expensive and 1000+ times more damaging to our planet than CO2.


IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) classifies styrene a probable carcinogen in humans. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies styrene a, “Class A” probable carcinogen yetis reluctant to set guidelines for styrene use prompting citizens to unite against EPS foam and ban it from food and beverage containers in communities all over the world. San Francisco has passed the ordinance against EPS unanimously… law as of 1/1/17.


Toxic VOC’s released when polystyrene and PVC are exposed to strong oxidizers! Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) information warns EPS foam and PVC vinyl become unstable when exposed tostrong oxidizers and a health risk releasing dangerous and harmful VOC’s. Strong oxidizers include water sanitizer’s chlorine, bromine, ozone and hydrogen peroxide. (Sitting in a spa, foam cover halfopen, places bathers within inches of off-gassing VOC’s and full exposure).


Spa bathers with polystyrene covers are likely to be exposed continually to neuro toxins benzene, styrene and PVC toxic vapors if their heated water has sanitizers. Most spa users have grown accustomed to the smell of accumulating toxic fumes that escape when opening their spa and are unaware the faded vinyl on the underside is a dire warning. These are signs of oxidizers attacking the chemicals that make up PVC vinyl and polystyrene foam. These vaporized chemicals are neuro-toxins that can affect memory, sense of smell, taste and hearing. They are associated with Dementia, lethargy and color blindness and can be blamed for breathing disorders including asthma. The spa industry seems content to await legislation before pursuing a user safe alternative.


Many people are told spas use about $15 in energy a month, the truth is with a dual hinged foam cover that number is closer to $50 to $90 on average in CA. Wet foam covers cost spa owners even more to operate on standby ready power! California spa owners squander about $23M a month in wasteful energy on spas with wet foam spa covers.


Disposal of heavy, wet polystyrene spa covers after 2 or 3 years of service would suggest an inappropriate use to the most casual observer. A worse decision is to leave it on the spa for another2 or 3 years wasting energy while leaking toxic VOC’s. The path of polystyrene foam reminds one of asbestos in the 50’s where industry just couldn’t find enough places to misuse it. Research discloses the insidious nature of polystyrene foam for use as a spa cover yet the spa industry continues to expose our health, our planet, our wildlife and water supply to a grim future.


TheAirframe is the only proven energy efficient cover that is safer, sustainable, and a truly viable alternative hot tub cover for sale today. It is simply the best hot tub ever made.
Copyright © 2016 Coverplay, Inc. All rights reserved.

Foam Spa Covers are Not Recommended to be Used on Hot Tubs!

Styrofoam Spa Covers and Heated Outdoor Spas are Not Compatible.

Expanded PolyStyrene foam may have some useful purpose but most agree being tossed into America’s landfills as water soaked spa covers should never be one of them. The average useful insulating life of an EPS foam/vinyl spa cover is less than one year largely due to interstitial gaps between the foam beads that store water. Spa cover companies sell thick vapor barriers they claim protect the foam from condensation while water saturation from heated outdoor spas is inevitable. Open cell Expanded Polystyrene should not be used for insulating a spa outdoors because water vapor retention renders it with little or no insulating value. But what’s even more compelling is mixing spa oxidizing agents with vinyl and EPS foam which off gases harmful VOC’s that pollutes the air you’re breathing.

EPS Foam spa covers retain water and waste energy

Heated spa water expands the air in the foam until cooler ambient weather condenses it creating water vapor inside the core. A water saturated foam cover is a conductor, not an insulator and could cost up to 3 times more to operate a spa on standby ready power. Compounding the problem, this wasteful use of styrene foam also renders it non-recyclable as wet foam can harbor micro-organisms and mold spores. Other HCFC foams have been found to be 1000+ times more damaging to our planet than CO2. EPS foam hot tub covers lose insulating value as water condenses in sealed cores becoming heavy and unmanageable. Many water heavy foam spa covers remain in use for years with a negative R-value as conductors while spa owners pay even more money for this energy loss.

EPS Foam Spa Covers Environmental Issues

Carelessly discarded, styrene foam can end up adrift in the ocean for 500 years poisoning marine and avian life as it is resistant to photolysis…when sequestered in an engineered landfill from aquifers and soil, 20 centuries.The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is reluctant to set guidelines for the use of styrene prompting citizens to unite against EPS foam and ban it from food and beverage containers in communities all over the globe…the EPA classifies styrene a, “Class A” probable carcinogen. One 7’ x 7’ EPS foam spa cover is equivalent to 3520 Styrofoam cups! North Americans discard approximately 165,000 spa covers per month…annually that would equal enough 4” tall Styrofoam cups laid end to end to circle the globe at the equator more than 17 times!

EPS Foam Hot Tub Covers Release harmful chemicals

Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) information warns EPS foam and PVC vinyl become unstable chemical compounds when exposed to strong oxidizers and a health risk releasing dangerous and harmful VOC’s. (Strong oxidizers include spa water sanitizers – chlorine, bromine, ozone and hydrogen peroxide)

  • Styrene Monomer
    In March 1987, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified styrene as a possible carcinogen to humans (Group 2B) due to “inadequate evidence in humans” and, “limited evidence in animals”. With new data on genetic and related effects, together with evidence styrene metabolizes in humans and animals to styrene oxide for which there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals, the IARC re-classified styrene as a probable carcinogen in humans (Group 2A), with sufficient evidence to recommend the change.

The best spa cover replacement is TheAirframe.

The Airframe spa cover has been designed  with state of the art engineering which is comprised of banded aluminum frames with layered chambers of air that insulate amid radiant barriers, covered with attractive outdoor, water-repellent fabric. The Airframe sustainable spa cover design is recyclable, repairable and built to withstand the elements without becoming water saturated. The pliable surfaces meet ASTM regulations for safety and don’t break like EPS foam board covers. Cover tie downs are durable cables linked to stainless steel and aluminum hardware. The Airframe does not contain  harmful petroleum based PVC Vinyl or dangerous VOC’s other spa covers do. (NO styrene, benzene, pentane or PVC). The Airframe is simply the best spa ever made.  Learn More

Chemical Safety Bill Good for Spa Cover Consumers

“Finally, the beginning of the end for many products that emanate VOC’s and EPS!” Jess Tudor inventor of a non-toxic, energy efficient spa cover, the Coverplay Airframe.

For twenty years, even as our understanding of health and science have grown, potentially dangerous chemicals have remained virtually unregulated, with our government unable to protect citizens from even well-known dangerous chemicals in consumer products and food.

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley has been working with his colleagues to produce a major breakthrough in bipartisan negotiations on a toxic chemical reform bill that could result in one of the most significant reforms of consumer protection in decades. This proposal will allow federal regulators to assess the risk and safety of commonly used chemicals and ensure that states still have the ability to act to protect their citizens where the federal government fails to act. The compromise Jeff has most recently negotiated passed out of committee with a bipartisan majority.

Press Release Excerpt – Monday, April 27, 2015

WASHINGTON — Today, Democratic U.S. Sens. Tom Udall (N.M.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.) and Cory Booker (N.J.) announced a major breakthrough agreement in historic legislation to reform the nation’s broken chemical safety law, a day before a “markup” hearing to finalize the legislation in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Following intense weekend negotiations, the bipartisan compromise agreement strengthens protections under the proposed law and expands states’ authority. It is the latest sign that support is continuing to grow for the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, authored by Udall and Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), which would finally ensure the American people are protected from chemicals sold in everyday products and used in manufacturing.

This bill would help phase-out some of the most harmful chemicals found in everyday products such as popcorn bags, non-stick cookware, carpets and pizza boxes. The bill specifically targets harmful chemicals identified by scientists known as persistent, bio accumulative and toxic chemicals (PBTs).  These chemicals have remained unregulated because Congress hasn’t updated chemical safety laws since the 1970s, leaving government agencies without the authority to regulate even the most harmful chemicals such as the ones found in spa covers.

“We need to get these dangerous chemicals out of consumer products immediately,” said Merkley. “These chemicals are the worst of the worst. They cause cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities and many other serious health problems. It’s unacceptable that these chemicals go into so many products used by families and children yet there are virtually no limits on their use. My bill would help protect innocent families from deadly diseases and leave our environment safer and more livable.”

These chemicals are known to contribute to developmental disorder, cancers, and thyroid disease. This bill has the support of a coalition of 450 organizations and businesses working toward reforming outdated toxic chemical laws. It is also supported by BizNGO, a coalition of businesses and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including Staples, Dignity Health, Perkins+Will, and Construction Specialties, Inc., working to shift the market to safer chemicals.

“Neurotoxins and exposure to some of these chemicals early in life are changing IQ points just enough so there’s millions more children that are in the range of disabled by these chemicals,” said Jennifer Coleman with the Oregon Environmental Council.

Some consumers are taking matters into their own hands and learning what products are harmful themselves by using a new wristband developed at OSU that detects daily toxins.  The wristband absorbs around 1,400 substances. Researchers are collecting the wristbands and testing them to determine what chemicals the subject was exposed to during the week.

“The way chemicals are used in the U.S. is that we don’t necessarily test them before they’re put into commerce,” said Professor Kim Anderson who helped develop the wristband. During the last year, Anderson and her colleagues tested these wristbands on hundreds of people around the world.

She further explained that exposure to various chemicals can have serious health consequences such as memory and learning problems, lower IQ and advanced puberty. She said 50-70 percent of diseases aren’t caused by genetics, but rather by environmental factors.

Chemical exposure concerns Sen. Jeff Merkley, “Every single day, we are using all kinds of consumer products that have toxic chemicals embedded in them,” Merkley said.  Merkley said he hopes that if people find out exactly what they’re exposed to, they will decide to make healthier choices.

Jess Tudor agrees wholeheartedly which is why he is so passionate about educating his customers about why the Coverplay Airframe spa cover is a safe, healthy choice.

Dangerous chemicals from the standard spa cover drip into your spa water. From day one your EPS foam spa cover has contact with chlorinated water vapors and the PVC vinyl material has already started emitting petrol chemicals into the air and water. If you’ve had your spa cover long enough to see cracking or tearing chances are dangerous levels of neuro-toxic chemicals from the EPS Foam (Styrofoam) are leaking into the air and into your spa water.

Health issues are a major concern as the Expanded Polystyrene cores and their Polyvinyl Chloride zippered bags become unstable and off gas when exposed to sanitizers. Sanitizers act to degrade the stability of those petrol-chemical compositions. Chlorine and ozone (strong oxidizers) attack the chemical compounds of PVC and styrene foam to create airborne Volatile Organic Compounds. These VOC’s are considered harmful to humans if touched or inhaled.

In contrast, the Coverplay Airframe spa cover has a gas permeable, outdoor acrylic fabric allowing the cover to breathe. The vapor barrier facing the water is a radiant shield that reflects 95% of the heat back to the water and is unaffected by sanitizers.  The Airframe spa cover DOES NOT emit dangerous VOC’s like EPS/vinyl spa covers.  The Airframe DOES NOT contain the harmful styrene, benzene, pentane or PVC’s that foam/vinyl covers do.

Why expose your family to dangerous Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) and chemicals when you don’t have to?

Choose the only healthy spa cover choice – choose the Airframe today!

Analysis of Standards Proposal for Portable Electric Spas

Portable Electric Spas

Codes and Standards Enhancement (CASE) Initiative
For PY 2012: Title 20 Standards Development

Analysis of Standards Proposal for
Portable Electric Spas

Docket # 12-AAER-2G

CASE Report
May 15, 2014
Prepared by:

Portable Electric Spas Final CASE Report_2014-05-15-logos

This report was prepared by the California Statewide Utility Codes and Standards Program and funded by the California utility customers under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. Copyright 2014 Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas, San Diego Gas & Electric.

All rights reserved, except that this document may be used, copied, and distributed without modification.
Neither PG&E, SCE, SoCalGas, SDG&E, nor any of its employees makes any warranty, express of implied; or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any data, information, method, product, policy or process disclosed in this document; or represents that its use will not infringe any privately-owned rights including, but not limited to, patents, trademarks or copyrights.

We would like thank and acknowledge Jess Tudor of Coverplay Inc., Energy Trust of Oregon’s Spa Cover Rebate team and Association of Pool and Spa Professionals-14 Committee for their valuable contributions and commitment to spa energy efficiency.


Spa Cover
The spa cover likely offers the greatest opportunity for energy efficiency improvement for a portable electric spa because in addition to providing insulating value the cover provides a good seal with the top of the spa shell to prevent water evaporation. Important features of an energy efficient cover include making sure the entire cover is insulated and that heat loss through the hinge is minimized. Most spa covers utilize a double-hinge design which can create a 1-inch to 3-inch gap of insulation in the middle of the cover. Additionally, the gap can extend the entire length of the cover allowing for significant heat loss. This heat loss can be mitigated with a cover that has a single hinge or insulated hinge design. (COVERPLAY 2014) In Figure 4.5 below you can see the air gap on the left with the traditional dual-hinge cover design as compared to the single hinge design from Coverplay Inc. on the right which essentially eliminates the gap all together.

spa cover comparison

Figure 4.5 Dual-hinge designed hot tub covers leak more energy than a single hinge design.

The energy savings opportunity with spa covers is significant enough that that utilities and are starting to design and implement energy efficiency programs around them. The first such program, administered by the Energy Trust of Oregon, has been offering $100 rebates for spa covers since early 2013 which have a minimum R-Value of 12 and have one continuous piece or have an insulated hinge of at least R-12. Conversations with the implementers of this program have shared with the CASE Team that thus far the program has been popular and successful. (OREGON 2014)

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