Do you ever ask yourself if your vinyl flooring is safe for your health? Well, the floor contains a strong chemical called polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is dangerous. For this reason, we shall explain why is vinyl plank flooring toxic, tips to know how much it’s dangerous, and better choices you can use.
The compound found in every vinyl floor can cause problems to both people and animals. It happens through air pollution to the environment of your house. So, we shall start by explaining why vinyl plank flooring is toxic to you when you choose to use it.
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Why is vinyl plank flooring toxic?
Most scientists will tell you that vinyl flooring is not suitable for your health because of the component (PVC) it contains. Also, the floor has cadmium, lead, and other dangerous things, but in small numbers. If your vinyl floor comes from an old plastic material, be sure it will contain phthalates that make the floor soft.
What can phthalates do to your life? These things are known poisons that put your pet and yourself at risk of diseases like cancer, breathing problems, and kidneys. Also, phthalates will get into your indoor air, the water you use in the house and surfaces.
Generally, these other compounds like PVC can affect the environment in your house as they come from the floor and into the air. It will be hard to know these things, especially if you have young children who crawl on the floor. A study by researchers will explain that some floors can cause a health problem to your infants at home.
Have you ever thought of recycling your vinyl planks? Yes, this action can happen, but it won’t be easy because of the many toxic additives in the vinyl planks. So, it shows that this material is not safe to manufacture, use, or throw them.
Tips to tell a vinyl flooring is toxic
Now that you have known that these floors have toxins, do you know that some companies no longer make vinyl floors using toxic elements? This aspect now leaves the market of the companies that keep on making the poisonous floors at risk. A good example is the Home Depot company which chose to avoid the toxins in making vinyl floors.
But what will help you identify less toxic vinyl floors? Here are some ideas that you can use while shopping:
1. The manufacturer
In every vinyl plank you purchase, it’s good to know where it came from and who exactly made it. Some years back, there was a problem in toxicity levels in many things sold to people in the market. As of 2020, most vinyl floor makers choose to make products free from phthalates because they want to protect your health.
Sometimes you can doubt if the company of your choice does not have quality products. Make sure you buy vinyl flooring from a manufacturer known in the market for safe products. So, it’s good and safe to consult your engineer for safe advice on the best item to buy when building your house.
Remember, different brands of vinyl flooring planks will never have the same amount of chemicals. Some companies no longer use harmful substances to make their floors, while some still sell dangerous products. Ask your manufacturers and professionals about what is in the floorings and the best environment to place them.
2. Look out for volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
Your vinyl floors can release some levels of poisonous organic mixtures after you put them in your house. It happens the moment after you get to place them. Generally, these chemicals can be harmful to the air quality of your home and cause breathing problems over some time.
These VOCs in the air have a relationship with the quality of material found in the vinyl floors. You can also know if the vinyl planks are toxic after you place them in the house. So, the original and safe vinyl planks will not release the gases long after you place them, but the harmful ones will take a long time and reduce the air condition.
Again, if the poison levels of these compounds affect your peace, ensure you buy your items from a place that many people trust. Your planner should help you with the best advice on what to buy to avoid the effects of these VOCs. Ensure that your house has good air spacing, especially during the first week or several days after placing them in the home.
3. Check for the PVC softeners quantity in the material
The best thing to check for before buying materials is the number of phthalates the company puts in the vinyl planks. Remember, these things are good in creating a beautiful finishing of the vinyl product. Most people point out that these materials are organic things that industries use to make the final vinyl very soft and heavy, attracting you to buy them.
Today, most people choose to go for vinyl planks with less or no PVC softening. Also, you can use the wiping materials to pick out a wipe sample and test them in a lab to see the number of harmful substances in the materials. It’s an aspect that will help you know if the planks are toxic or not.
Companies like Home Depot no longer use these softeners in making vinyl floors. What then should you do? Go for their products. Customer stories by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) show that these things affect your body because of what they bring to the area around you.
According to a study, children born of mothers who live in houses with these floors can have allergic asthma. During the period of breastfeeding, it also exposes children. Would you want your family to have such problems? Then, don’t buy vinyl planks with these softeners.
You might not find this helpful, but it’s essential. Yes, most of these vinyl planks fade, but the level will prove the toxicity. So, the more your planks discolor, the more times your surrounding reduces its air quality.
In most cases, the process of losing its color comes from the damage by the U. V light, but it happens only to a few vinyl flooring products. Besides, if you choose to put the vinyl planks in a room open to sunlight but continue to have the effect of the sun, it shows that it’s dangerous.
You can also know if the floor is less toxic by placing it in an area that opens to the sun. Yes, it will make the material fade faster but, in case it takes some time before it loses its primary color, you will know that the vinyl is fit.
Healthier alternatives for vinyl plank flooring
As more people continue to know about the dangers of using vinyl plank flooring, there are still better options to use in flooring. So, are you among those people who have safety problems with vinyl planks? Don’t worry! Here are some good and healthier options that will also make your house look beautiful.
Use a natural carpet
In many places across the world, natural carpets are excellent choices for flooring. If the vinyl planks scare you, apply a carpet in your building to avoid the effects of VOCs. Also, please don’t go for the old ones because they will expose you to some VOC gases that will not suit your health. So, the best thing is to maintain them by cleaning them using a vacuum cleaner.
This choice is the best if you don’t want the vinyl planks. You can be sure that it’s made from 100 percent natural materials, which is linseed oil. Manufacturers get the oil from flax seeds and mix it with wood shavings and dust.
When buying it, know that they don’t have any chemicals in them and they will be safe for your health and that of your family. Although it’s a bit more expensive than the vinyl plank flooring, linoleum will give you an easy time during the installation.
If you have any allergies, using wood as your flooring option will be the best choice. Wood 100 percent comes from natural materials, and there will be no worry about the effects of flooring chemicals. There will be no bad smell or any sand as you install them.
Also, using a hardwood floor is easy to clean because you can remove dust and other particles from it using a vacuum cleaner at your home. Additionally, hardwood floors are easy to install in your house.
The only problem comes during installation. Some of its elements may cause a toxic fire.
To wrap it up, you have to know that vinyl plank floors are not that toxic not unless you get a heavy expose. Also, most companies today choose to make vinyl planks that are not toxic elements or free of phthalates. So, don’t worry about buying them because they will be safe to use.
After installing the vinyl floors, when it comes to safety, give your house good air quality. Also, you can use the alternatives for the viny plank floors. If you have any ideas or additional information about vinyl floorings, feel free to leave a comment.