1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

June 1, 2008

:153 4-PC

Filed under: :153 4-PC — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:14 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:153 EcoTip:  4-phenyl cyclohexene (4-PC) is a reaction by-product of styrene and butadiene. All of these chemicals can be obnoxious and toxic, but 4-PC is especially obnoxious and best avoided. It is frequently found in carpet backing and adhesives.

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 Additional Information:

According to an EPA carpet study:

In the carpet finishing process, a secondary backing fabric is bound to a primary backing to provide strength and support. Precoat and adhesive are applied and cured at about 200° C in a gas-fired oven. This process is run on a continuous line. Precoat and adhesive formulations differ only slightly. Components include styrene-butadiene latex, thickener, filler, and water. Major VOC constituents found in the precoat and adhesive are long-chain hydrocarbons. In addition, several compounds derived from the latex were observed: styrene and butadiene (unpolymerized), ethyl benzene (styrene precursor), cumene (styrene-butadiene polymer catalyst), and 4-ethyl cyclohexene (4-EC) and 4-phenyl cyclohexene (4-PC), which are Diels-Alder reaction products of styrene and butadiene. 

Tommorow I will offer suggestions from the book Prescriptions for a Healthy House for ways to identify carpet that has been tested for low emission levels of 4-PC and other chemicals.

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