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Mushrooms a Magic Building Insulation Alternative

Posted May 22, 2016 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

Styrofoam has been one of the most trusted building insulation materials since the late 1940s. The blue foamed, extruded polystyrene product possesses a high R-value. It's also lightweight, easy to ship, and easy to install. Problem is, its foamed polystyrene breaks down extremely slowly while the U.S. National Institute of Health lists it as a carcinogen. In answer to growing health concerns over the use of Styrofoam, a new commercial building insulation is being developed that not only possesses zero health risks, it is entirely biodegradable. Its name? Mushrooms.


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#1

Re: Mushrooms a Magic Building Insulation Alternative

05/22/2016 8:11 AM

I would rather have insulation that lasts a long time than insulation that is biodegradable.

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Re: Mushrooms a Magic Building Insulation Alternative

05/23/2016 4:23 AM

Styrene is absorbed into human fatty tissues and is found in 100% of dead people tested but not at levels more than 1/3 the levels known to cause harm. Most of the styrene absorbed will come from food packaging like Styrofoam cups and and burger boxes which are known to lose weight when heated. If it was considered dangerous then the EPA and equivalent bodies around the world would ban it for use as food packaging. Personally I never eat off the Styrofoam buried under my floor or in my walls. I never heat it to the level where it will leach styrene. This is a classic instance of bad science used to promote a commercial product. Where is Ralph Nader when I need him? Why is there not a public outcry to stop firms using unjustified scare tactics to sell product? I don't often call for additional legislation but this is an instance where it would be welcome.

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#3

Re: Mushrooms a Magic Building Insulation Alternative

05/23/2016 9:16 AM

And with mushroom insulation in the walls, the house will NEVER pass a mold inspection. Molds are fungi, so the equipment that detects mold will keep getting a positive when inspecting the insulated walls, so the building will be declared uninhabitable due to the mold levels and need to be torn down.

Great Job, Mushrooms, You've helped to relieve the homeowner of their single largest financial burden, their home!

If the 'science' in that article (There's nothing in it that backs up any claims, no sources, it just states its points as if they were universal facts, like 1+1=2 (Which isn't even a universal fact, in base-2, 1+1=10)) were any more 'junk' it'd be Homeopathy!

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Re: Mushrooms a Magic Building Insulation Alternative

05/23/2016 10:03 AM

Interesting comments, particularly the one about the house not passing inspection for fungi. Ecovative is a local business for us here at IEEE GlobalSpec, and I've been sort of casually following their progress. I'll see if I can get more info on the insulate-your-house-with-a-fungus issue.

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Re: Mushrooms a Magic Building Insulation Alternative

05/23/2016 6:39 PM

The squirrels around my house love mushrooms. I see them eating them in the yard all the time. When the squirrels find out I've been storing them in the walls . . .

My preference is for fiberglass which has zero emissions, nearly infinite life, and no health risks outside of itchy skin when installing. Do wear a decent respirator or a quality dust mask when installing.

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Re: Mushrooms a Magic Building Insulation Alternative

06/06/2016 2:46 PM

"The squirrels around my house love mushrooms. I see them eating them in the yard all the time. When the squirrels find out I've been storing them in the walls . . ."

Forget the squirrels, what happens when the HIPPIES find out your walls are make of 'shrooms. "Dude, it's Dave, let me in. We gotta smoke this guys house, man." "Uh, Dave's not here, man."

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