Cellular glass is radon tight … so what?

logo_smallToday there are too much lawyers on this world and they are boring themselves to death. And as a consequence, they become politican and find out laws, which we do not need. One such a thing is the radon tightness of closed cell cellular glass.

Gavel in courtroom working office of lawer legislation.If cellular glass is vapour tight, we can expect that it is also Radon tight. But this logic is not accepted by our lawyer world. For that reason, GLAPOR has ordered a RADON diffusion experiment with is described in this report.

radonexp

What-is-Radon920x426_menuIndeed, a layer of 50 mm cellular glass is 250 times the diffusion length, which means that Radon cannot diffuse through the cellular glass without decaying in the cellular glass. In that way, it is impossible that Radon decays in the lungs of humans and animals behind the cellular glass.

01_06_04It is needed to install the boards with hot bitumen (which is also Radon tight) but pinholes in the bitumen remain a small risk in the joints. For that reason, it is advised to work with large boards (GLAPOR cellular glass: 2800 mm x 1200 mm) to reduce the number of joints as much as possible. Dry installation of the boards will only minimally protect against Radon.

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Styrene is probably cancerogenic for humans

logo_smallI was surprised when I found the following in the Lancet, a medical magazine. It states that: ” The Working Group classified styrene in Group 2A, “probably carcinogenic to humans” based on limited evidence in humans and sufficient evidence in experimental animals for carcinogenicity.”  This is a new classification since March 2018 because the older one gives a less dramatic one.

whale1Like described in this recent paper and this older paper, styrene is used to produce polystyrene and the latter one is foamed to expanded (EPS) or extruded (XPS) polystyrene. I don´t believe that XPS or EPS or cancerogenic during the use as thermal insulation but disposal is not straightforward.

Indeed, the landfill method is not a good method because these products are reduced spontaneously to small particles, which are not biogredable and end up in all kind of organisms and also later on in humans. Combustion has to be done above 1000°C to avoid all kind of flue gases while standard incinerators are working at 850°C.

For that reason, a lot of American cities have already banned the use of polytsyrene  for the following reasons:

  • It does not biodegrade. It may break into small pieces, even minuscule pieces. But the smaller EPS gets, the harder it is to clean up.
  • It is made of fossil fuels and synthetic chemicals. Those chemicals may leach if they come in contact with hot, greasy or acidic food. Yes, they keep your coffee hot – but they may also add an unwanted dose of toxins to your drink.
  • Animals sometimes eat it. Turtles and fish seem to mistake EPS for food, and that can kill them. Not only can they not digest it, but the foam could be full of poisons that it has absorbed from contaminants floating in the water.
  • It can’t be recycled. Some commercial mailing houses may accept packing peanuts, but for the most part community recycling centers do not accept throwaway foam food containers

To me it is clear. EPS and XPS are not needed in the building industry and can be replaced by cellular glass. GLAPOR cellular glass is in that case the most ecologic alternative.