The Environmental Protection Agency is considering adding a new type of insulation material to its list of dangerous materials, in response to the increasing number of fires and heatwaves that have occurred as the planet warms.
A draft rule released Tuesday by the EPA shows the agency is considering a new category of insulation called “alternative insulating materials,” or ANIM.
The EPA has already approved ANIM insulation for many types of building materials, but there is a catch.
It has not yet issued a formal rule for the material, called “an insulation product that provides a barrier or insulates against fire or heat.”
The agency’s draft rules on ANIM are still in development, so the agency can’t say for certain how it will use ANIM, and whether it will be applied to all types of materials.
The ANIM materials could be used for exterior insulation, in place of traditional insulation materials such as tarps and tarps with an insulating film, as well as insulating awnings and other walls.
An ANIM can be installed on any building or structure that meets federal standards for exterior wall insulation, but it does not provide the same protection as traditional wall insulation.
The new category would apply to “all types of insulating products” that provide a barrier against fire and heat.
“These materials will be used to protect buildings, homes, and property from heat-related events and to provide insulation from fires,” the draft rule said.
The draft rule did not specify which types of insulation materials ANIM is meant to protect.
It is also unclear how the ANIM material will be evaluated.
The proposed rule could come into effect as early as 2018, according to the draft.
In the meantime, there are some companies that are using ANIM as a cheaper alternative to traditional insulation.