The popularity of vinyl flooring has been rising each and every day and today, it is so common to find vinyl floors in practically all residential and commercial buildings. To be honest vinyl floors are more durable, they last long and are also relatively affordable compared to other options in the market. A lot of new developments in Singapore have definitely utilized vinyl floors not really knowing the extent of dangers they bring. However, the million dollar question today is related to the health implications of these floors. Are they safe? Could you be endangering your health by installing a vinyl floor in your home? Well, all these questions will be answered in depth in the points below.
Why Are Vinyl Floors Becoming A Problem?
Many people in Singapore already have vinyl floors and as such, you may wonder why concerns about the safety of vinyl tiles and other flooring materials are coming into question today. Well, there have been a number of studies that have actually shown that vinyl flooring contains a number of harmful chemicals. Studies show that vinyl’s floors have a certain degree of carcinogenic compounds arising form the Dioxins involved in the manufacture of PVC – the most predominant substance in Vinyl floors. There are also dangerous Phthalates and traces of toxic mercury.
What Are The Dangers Of Vinyl Floors?
There are a number of health related dangers that are today associated with vinyl floors and in fact, some of these dangers are highlighted in detail here below:
Child poisoning – Studies have shown that vinyl flooring actually contains some of the major substances banned in children products. According to these reports, over half of all vinyl flooring products in home improvement stores today contain substances known as phthalates. This is one of the most harmful chemical for children and has often been banned in many child related product. Sadly, many kids today are exposed to the substances right under their feet all thanks to vinyl floors.
Phthalates can cause Asthma – The Phthalates contained in PVC floors are not only affecting children but have also been blamed for causing asthma among adults. You have to remember that these phthalates are very toxic and the worst thing is they have the ability to remain active on your surrounding for a very long time. This simply increases their potency of creating health risks substantially.
Exposure to fire can lead to deadly consequences – The most predominant chemical in vinyl floors is chlorine. When vinyl floors are exposed to fire or excessive heat, they may release a toxic gas known as hydrogen chloride gas. This is one of the most toxic gases that can affect your respiratory system and even lead to death.
Carcinogenic Dioxins – Studies have also shown that a number of vinyl floors also contain cancer causing Dioxins that are actually released during the manufacture of PVC. These dioxins can integrate in the surrounding and stay there for years eating you slowly without even knowing it. Although there are no know cases in Singapore where the Dioxins in PVC have led to cancer, there is enough prove that he Dioxins have the potential of causing and accelerating cancer.
Dangerous to construction workers and contractors – The people who are responsible for installing or repairing vinyl flooring stand the biggest risk of suffering from health related implications associated with these floors. Contractors come into contact with vinyl flooring practically every day of their lives and continuous exposure may lead to so many dangerous health consequences. The sad thing is very few construction workers and contractors are aware of the risk they are putting themselves in every day.
- The Environmental Impact of PVC
Aside from the personal health risks that vinyl flooring causes, there is also the big environmental impact they can have especially if not disposed correctly. PVC is practically the most dangerous plastic in the market and of course it is a hydrocarbon. Although there are a few effective ways of disposing these plastic, the ordinary homeowner may not be ware of them.
Many people may decide to burn or simply throw away worn out or old vinyl floors to the dumpster. This can cause a lot of environmental dangers. First of all, burning PVC releases hydrogen Chloride and also Carbon Monoxide which are two very toxic gases. Secondly, this will also play a part in increasing carbon levels on the atmosphere and hence contributing to climate change and global warming.
What Alternatives Do You Have?
In case you don’t want to risk the health of your family, then you may want to take a different flooring option for your home. The great thing is that Singapore has a number of flooring options that are equally stronger like Vinyl floors but safer. The following are a few alternatives that you can consider for flooring:
• Ceramic Floors – Ceramic floors are a little bit cheaper compared to vinyl and while they may not be as strong, they are still a great option for any home. Additionally, it is very easy to clean ceramic floors.
• Hardwood Floors – Hardwood floors are extremely durable and classy at the same time. However, they are the most expensive flooring options so make sure you set your budget accordingly. However, unlike vinyl, hardwood floors are 100% safe.
• Stone floors – Stone floors may not be classy or elegant as ceramic tiles but with proper installation and a few decorations here and there, they can definitely do the trick. The installation process is easier and the flooring lasts very long.
There is no doubt more research is needed to fully ascertain the extent of the risks vinyl flooring poses to humans. However, early warning signs are very clear. Vinyl floors may be strong, affordable and long lasting but then again, they have harmful chemicals that may not be ideal for any home or commercial space. Moving from vinyl floors to safer and risk free options is now a possibility for most people and looking at the negative health implications vinyl floors have, it is not hard to understand why. The great thing is that there are other great flooring options that can rival vinyl in practically all respects. In that case, you don’t need to risk your health or that of your children anymore.