Looking for Non-Off Gassing Foam? These are Your Options

Foam off-gassing can lead to a host of issues, from health hazards to product degradation, if it’s used as a packaging or shipping material with products that cannot be exposed to it. When selecting foam packaging for your products, understanding the impact off-gassing has on your products and which foams to choose will help you maintain the integrity and safety of your products. 

What is off gassing, why it’s detrimental, and how it can affect your products during shipping? Find out more about this foam quality and which non-off-gassing foam options are available for safe and sustainable packaging. 

What is Off-Gassing When it Comes to Foam?

Off-gassing refers to the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other chemical gases from synthetic materials, including certain types of foam. These gases are emitted as the foam’s chemical components break down over time or when they react to heat and light during storage and transport. While off-gassing is a common phenomenon in many manufactured products, its presence in packaging materials can be of concern due to the enclosed shipping environments. 

Why is Off-Gassing Bad for Some Products?

Off-gassing from foam can have several negative impacts on your products: 

  • Odor: off-gassing can produce unpleasant chemical smells that might permeate the product packaging, resulting in a negative unboxing experience for the end consumer. 
  • Electronics: VOCs can corrode or otherwise damage sensitive electronic components, impairing functionality or reducing lifespan. 
  • Pharmaceuticals and Food Products: contamination from off-gassed chemicals can compromise the safety and effectiveness of consumable products. 
  • Art and Collectibles: off-gassing can alter the appearance or integrity of art materials such as paintings or sculptures and other sensitive collectibles. 

What Are the Best Types of Foams to Use That Do Not Off-Gas?

For businesses looking to avoid the negative impacts of off-gassing, there are several foam options known for their low emission properties: 

  • Expanded Polyethylene (EPE): EPE provides excellent protection properties combined with the benefit of a non-marring Class A Surface to protect painted or sensitive parts.   The foam is completely inert with zero off-gas emissions coming from the foam.   
  • Expanded Polypropylene (EPP): EPP is highly valued for its impact resistance, thermal insulation, and extremely low volatile compound emission. It’s particularly suited for products that require both thermal insulation and protection from physical shock without the risk of contamination from gases. 
  • Polyethylene Foam: known for its stability and low off-gassing characteristics, polyethylene foam is an excellent choice for protecting sensitive products. It does not emit harmful gases under normal conditions and provides strong cushioning and durability. 
  • Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA): While slightly more prone to off-gassing than polyethylene, EVA can be manufactured to reduce its volatile emissions significantly. It is also known for its cushion and shock absorption properties, making it suitable for a wide range of applications. 
  • Polyurethane Foam: when opting for polyurethane, select a high-quality, certified low-VOC type. Some types of polyurethane foam are engineered to minimize off-gassing and provide excellent cushioning and support. 

Get the Right Foam for Your Application

At Amcon, we can help you choose the right foam for packaging to ensure the safety, integrity, and customer satisfaction of your shipped products. Our team provides detailed recommendations on foam options and we can custom fabricate those materials to fit the precise specifications of your application. Ready to partner with a knowledgeable foam fabricator who can guide you to the safest and most effective materials tailored to your specific needs? Get in touch with our team today. 


Looking for foam that doesn’t off gas? We can help you select the right materials.