Are you concerned about the safety of your vinyl floor? You’ve heard the news about unsafe wood laminate flooring, and now you’re hearing that there is trouble with some vinyl floor brands. You wonder if any company can be trusted and whether you have toxic flooring in your home.
You can relax a bit because you can protect yourself and your family by learning the facts.
Vinyl Flooring & Phthalates
In April 2015, a study was released about vinyl flooring and toxic phthalates. Flooring samples sold by five major home improvement stores were tested and of the 65 vinyl flooring tiles tested, 58% contained phthalates. The study was part of ongoing research at Healthystuff.org.
What is the Concern About Phthalates?
Phthalates have been linked to serious health issues in animals and human studies. According to Washington Toxics Coalition, in animal studies, phthalates cause an array of reproductive problems in male offspring. In a study on people, boys born to mothers with greater exposure had altered genital development. In addition, phthalates have been linked to asthma.
Although phthalates do not accumulate in your body which is a good thing, you are constantly being exposed.
How are you exposed to phthalates? Phthalates migrate into your air and settle into household dust. And, phthalates are in many of your consumer products like personal care products, vinyl shower curtains, children’s toys and basically anything made with PVC.
There is hope though to reduce your exposure.
The Worst and Best
According to the study, Lumber Liquidators and Ace Hardware had phthalates in 100% of the flooring sampled. Check out Healthy Stuff Vinyl Flooring Report to see if your flooring was part of the study.
The good news is that among the brands, Armstrong and Designer’s Image flooring had no phthalates detected, so if you purchased these brands, you’re in good shape.
In 2016, any vinyl flooring sold by Home Depot will be safe because Home Depot has pledged to stop selling flooring with phthalates by the end of 2015. This is little consolation to any of you who already purchased.
What to Do: Four Ways to Protect Yourself
- Check out the report to find and purchase flooring brands that are phthalate-free.
- Consider non-vinyl flooring alternatives. HealthyStuff.org recommends bio-based linoleum, natural rubber and ceramic tile.
- Reduce your exposure to other sources of phthalates. Learn about these sources.
- If you have vinyl flooring, consider using an air purifier designed to remove VOCs like phthalates from your indoor air so you can breathe easier. Dust and vacuum frequently with a HEPA filter vacuum.