Toxic VOCs

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 had been working with his colleagues to produce a major breakthrough in bipartisan negotiations on a toxic chemical reform bill that resulted in one of the most significant reforms of consumer protection in decades. This proposal allows 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 proposed 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, 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 Styrofoam 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.

Design engineer and multiple patent holder E. Jess Tudor agrees and is passionate about educating spa customers about the Airframe non-toxic spa cover as a safer, healthier, and sustainable choice.

Dangerous chemicals from Styrofoam/Poly Vinyl Chloride spa covers interact with heated, sanitized spa water and off-gas in the surrounding area. From day one, EPS foam/PVC vinyl spa covers generate dangerous VOC's as spa sanitizers destabilize their chemistry emitting petroleum based chemicals into the air and water. Aggressive oxidizers like chlorine, bromine and ozone attack and disburse dangerous levels of neuro-toxic chemicals from Styrofoam/Vinyl Chloride spa covers into the air and spa water.

Health issues are a major concern as the Expanded Polystyrene cores and their Poly Vinyl Chloride zippered bags become unstable and off gas when exposed to sanitizers. Sanitizers act to degrade the stability of those petroleum 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 harmful to humans if touched or inhaled.

The Airframe spa cover is ASTM safe with no dangerous VOC’s and contains no harmful styrene, benzene, or Vinyl Chloride as Styrofoam/PVC covers do.

Our response to help protect spa users from dangerous VOC’s and petroleum based chemicals is a safer, healthier alternative for the "Wellness" spa industry! 

By avoiding further purchases of those cheap, toxic spa covers, we also help cleanup our environment and avoid polluting the land, aquifers and oceans with more Styrofoam/Vinyl Chloride waste!