Hey ya'll, QUICK QUESTION: I built acoustic panels using some weed guard fabric from Lowes. It was called Sta-Green. After building about 20 panels, I happen to read the back of the label of the weed guard which has the following warning: "This product can expose you to chemicals including propylene which is know to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more info go to P65warnings.ca.gov
My question is this: I was wondering if anybody had knowledge about this chemical (Propylene) and if it's something I should be concerned about (inhaling in the air, touching, etc)? Is that a common chemical used in product like this? I saw an almost identical product at Hobby Lobby literally called Polypropylene. Seems like they're using it underneath furniture, etc.
Just trying to avoid having to rip it all out and replace it. Thanks for any advice! Figured I'd ask some chemists 😉
Propylene is a small hydrocarbon, in a gaseous state at normal temperatures and pressure. It is stored and transported as a liquified gas under pressure. It is used to MAKE polypropylene (a common plastic). The warning label is most likely due to potential "outgassing" of residual propylene in the finished polypropylene product.
Only California gets so paranoid. It is NOT considered a carcinogen by any of the reputable hazard sources and databanks that I can find. Here is one source: https://www.chemicalsafetyfacts.org/chemicals/propylene/
Thanks for your help Scooke!
I've attached a few photos of the product and panels.The back of the panels (open to the air) are shown. I'll be in the room 9-5 most days recording. I just want to have some assurance if there's any potential health risk to breathing in fumes from the product. I can't imagine that would be possible since there not being lit on fire..hahahah! I don't know though, I'm not a chemist. I'd rather not have to rip the panels apart and re apply a different backing fabric.
I know the product is used for outdoors (weed guard), but I got the idea from a YouTuber who made his own panels as well and has a big following. He was using a similar weed barrier product to cut costs on fabric. It actually works perfect. I can't imagine Lowes putting out a product that could potentially cause cancer, wether handling or breathing.
I did do a test and lit a sample with a lighter. It lit up fairly quickly, but then again, so did polyester that I had on hand and tested as well. What fabric doesn't catch fire easily?...seems they all do.
Anyways, thanks for any further feedback...looking to put my worries to rest.
It's NEVER a good idea to burn plastics in or around your home! You should not have any ill effects from using that paneling for your sound room. Good ventilation is recommended in all locations at all times generally. But I'd suspect that you would have a very difficult time even trying to identify any trace amounts of propylene outgassing from the panels.
Maybe they work well enough. My own experience in sound systems and rooms is that it is worth the price to use good acoustic panels. The surface characteristics as well as the materials used are critical to "adsorbing" sound waves for a recording studio. You can still "DIY" as the panels can be purchased commercially. Anything that you are going to spend that much of your time on shouldn't skimp on materials!
From your pictures it looks like you are applying it OVER acoustic-damping surfaces! That would defeat the purpose of the panels. If that is just a backing behind the panels to reduce dust or particles, that would be fine.
From Wikipedia :
"Propene has low acute toxicity from inhalation and is not considered to be carcinogenic. Chronic toxicity studies in mice did not yield significant evidence suggesting adverse effects. Humans briefly exposed to 4,000 ppm did not experience any noticeable effects. Propene is dangerous from its potential to displace oxygen as an asphyxiant gas, and from its high flammability/explosion risk.
Additionally, considering its structural/chemical similarity to Ethylene, suspect some anesthetic activity but inhalant abuse is a dead-ender.
Reference  gives a Pubchem HSDB link providing a comprehensive assesment: Pubchem HDSB for Propene
Complements of Exo ResearchanDevelopment.
Propylene, also known as propene, is a colorless gas and a common industrial chemical. It is generally considered to have low toxicity and is not highly harmful when handled properly. However, like any chemical substance, propylene can pose risks if it is mishandled, consumed in large quantities, or if there is exposure to high concentrations in certain environments.
In normal conditions and typical uses, propylene is relatively safe. It is commonly used as a fuel gas, as a component in the production of plastics, and as a solvent in various industries. It is also used as a propellant in aerosols and as a refrigerant.
However, prolonged or repeated exposure to high concentrations of propylene in the air can cause irritation to the respiratory system, eyes, and skin. Some individuals may be more sensitive to propylene than others, and pre-existing respiratory conditions or sensitivities may increase the risk of adverse effects. Ingestion or ingestion of large amounts of propylene can also lead to health effects.
It's important to follow appropriate safety precautions, such as using propylene in well-ventilated areas, wearing protective equipment when necessary, and following the recommended handling and storage guidelines provided by manufacturers and regulatory agencies.
If you have specific concerns about the use or potential hazards of propylene in a particular context, it is advisable to consult safety data sheets (SDS) or seek guidance from professionals in the relevant field, such as industrial hygienists or occupational health experts.