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Environmental Stewardship

Erin Dickison

Makers of diisocyanates (DII) and other chemicals are committed to continuous environmental improvement in their own operations. America’s environmental policies must promote the shared national goal of a healthy environment while encouraging innovation and high-skilled, high-paying jobs in the business of chemistry. Efforts to preserve the environment—our air, water, land and climate—are made possible in large part thanks to the innovative products of chemistry, including DII.

DII Chemistry & Environmental Stewardship

DII producers support the practice of conserving resources and minimizing any potential environmental and health impacts of polyurethanes and plastic products. Polyurethanes made with DII chemistry can be essential to the continuous progress made in environmental stewardship and efficient use of natural resources. In the unlikely event of a spill to the aquatic or soil environments, the MDI or TDI reacts with water to form inert polyureas, which can be expected to be essentially unreactive.

Summaries of existing information on the release and behavior of MDI and TDI in the environment found that they have not shown any adverse impact on municipal waste handling processes, landfills or incineration. To review these findings, visit the Environment section of the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) website.

Helping Reduce Energy Consumption

You can also find information about how rigid and spray polyurethane foams made with DII chemistry used for thermal insulation can significantly enhance the energy efficiency of residential and commercial buildings. It also discusses how polyurethanes that have reached the end of service life can be sent for reuse, chemical recycling* or can be used for energy recovery under national, regional and local regulations.

Emissions of DII

The Emissions section of the CPI website provides information about how atmospheric emissions of MDI and TDI during isocyanate production or other applications are carried out in closed equipment with controls on all vents. That section offers technical information on emissions reporting and testing developed and used by the DII industry, government agencies and private standard-setting organizations.

Another key contributor to protecting the environment is in the handling of these materials. DII producers take great care in material handling—whether at their own sites or working with customers. They are committed to being responsible stewards of their products.

*Recycling does not exist in all areas. Check to see if there is a polyurethanes recycling facility in your community.

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