Is Vinyl Plank Flooring Toxic?

Some vinyl plank flooring may be toxic. Keep reading to learn more.

Over the past few years, vinyl plank flooring has become extremely popular because it is affordable, fairly durable and it has noise dampening abilities. However, a few concerns have arisen with regard to whether this flooring releases toxins that could be harmful to your family’s health and even the environment in general. 

The manufacturing processes that are being used to create vinyl flooring planks involve the use of various chemical compounds, along with PVC. For instance, chemicals are included in the manufacturing process to provide this flooring with the correct texture, color, hardness, and shine. As a result, some individuals have raised concerns about whether vinyl flooring is toxic or not. 

PVC Softeners are Classified as Toxic

PVC softeners – also called phthalates – are one of the chemical compounds that are used to give vinyl flooring its flexibility and it comprises about 60% of the end product.

Some studies that have been performed have indicated that these industrial softener products have the ability to cause lung, kidney, and liver damage in some individuals. It has also been suggested that these compounds could have an effect on reproductive health. 

Concerns have also been raised by Consumer Reports about the fact that the phthalates used to make vinyl plank flooring more flexible could also not only have a negative effect on the endocrine system; they could be classified as potential carcinogens.

Contamination of Indoor Air

The phthalates used to manufacture this flooring aren’t only bound to the planks themselves – they have the ability to leach, evaporate and migrate into a home’s indoor air and accumulate among dust that is present. As such, they could pose a fairly serious health risk to children and elderly people. 

Contamination can easily occur by means of skin exposure, ingestion, and inhalation. For example, Kids that enjoy playing on the floor could be exposed to these toxic chemicals. 

Potential Asthma Risk

Studies have indicated that there could be a link between exposure to phthalates and increased cases of asthma in sensitive individuals, especially children. 

Information in the study revealed that children born to mothers who had been exposed to the phthalates found in vinyl plank flooring during pregnancy stood a far higher chance of developing asthma.

Which Vinyl Plank Flooring Contains Toxins?

Various brands of this flooring will, of course, contain differing amounts of toxins. While some companies are making an active effort to phase out the use of harmful chemicals, others haven’t made an effort in this regard yet. 

As such, it’s strongly recommended that homeowners inquire about the phthalate content in flooring before making their final choice. 

Choosing and Caring for Vinyl Plank Flooring

When searching for vinyl plank flooring, it’s essential that you’re able to physically view and feel the different options that are available. This will allow you to determine which options are better qualities than others.

Although many homeowners may not always be able to afford to install top of the range vinyl plank flooring, it is often possible to shop around between suppliers with regards to pricing – so you may be able to get a better price on a higher quality product this way. 

It’s strongly recommended that vinyl plank flooring be professionally installed, as this will ensure that you’re able to get as much use out of it as possible over time. Only a damp mop and mild detergent should ever be used when cleaning it, as harsh chemicals will cause damage to the top layer. 

In some cases, it’s possible to obtain discount coupons for this flooring, meaning that you could sometimes obtain top of the range options at heavily discounted prices.


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