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Polyurethane. What is it? Is it Harmful?

What is Polyurethane?

Polyurethane chemistry is complex, but the basics are relatively easy to understand. Polyurethanes are formed by reacting a polyol (an alcohol with more than two reactive hydroxyl groups per molecule) with a diisocyanate or a polymeric isocyanate in the presence of suitable catalysts and additives. Because a variety of diisocyanates and a wide range of polyols can be used to produce polyurethane, a broad spectrum of materials can be produced to meet the needs for specific applications. *1

Is polyurethane harmful to people and animals?

Polyurethane is the end result of the chemical reaction between a polyol and a diisocyanate. Once the chemical reaction of its elements has occurred, the outcome is a polyurethane foam that is entirely passive and harmless to humans and animals.

In reality, polyurethane is found in hundreds of forms, several even right in contact with skin or other textiles: shoes, seats, coverings, purses, cushions, kids’ toys, or even prosthetic device and other surgical materials.

Conflicting to what some people claim, various studies confirm that polyurethane does not pose a risk to the health of users. Therefore, if you are wondering if polyurethane is harmful, you can rest assured that no toxic emissions will arise.


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