How Cheap Flooring Can Make You Sick

On July 16, 2016 by Himanshu

Doctor Examining Child
There’s a frightening thought out there that things in your home can work against you. Dust, asbestos, silica – we’re all weary of our surroundings.

But thanks to a lot of insightful investigative reporting, we now know that there’s one product in every home that could lead to your own demise: floors.

Good flooring products from reputable vendors that are constructed well will not affect the health of you and your family. Flooring that is bad in quality and cheaply made can ultimately harm you.

In this blog post, we’ll examine the instances where bad floors contain harmful chemicals.

Lumber Liquidators and Formaldehyde in their Laminate Flooring products

Last year, 60 Minutes came out with a scathing report on Lumber Liquidators, a seller of flooring products in North America.

The report showed that Chinese-made laminate flooring products sold by Lumber Liquidators had traces of formaldehyde.

How Formaldehyde in Laminate Flooring Can Affect You

The United States Center for Disease Control investigated the problem and issued a report. The report said that the levels of risk of cancer as a result of exposure to formaldehyde in the laminate floors was low.

They then revised their report to indicate that the risk of cancer was much higher than initially reported.

Toxic Chemicals In Big Retailer Samples of Vinyl Flooring

Last year, a study found that toxic chemicals in vinyl flooring products at big box retailers, like Rona and Lumber Liquidators.

The chemicals in question are toxic phthalates, which previously were used in children’s products until they were banned in the US in 2009. Of the 65 vinyl flooring samples tested, 58% of them tested positive for toxic phthalates.

What’s the potential effect of these chemicals? Well, these substances have been linked to asthma, birth defects, learning disabilities, reproductive problems, liver toxicity, and cancer.

Lumber Liquidators and Ace Hardware were the worst performing stores of the ones tested. 100% of the samples tested from both stores were found to have toxic phthalates.

What Bad Flooring Does To Your Family

Let’s be frank: It can make you sick. Bad, cheap flooring can kill. Whether it’s laminate that has formaldehyde or it’s vinyl floors that have toxic phthalates, these products can do harm to you.

With the latter, phthalates can move out of flooring and affect the air and dust inside homes. What’s worse is that you won’t even know about it.

Don’t Forget: Flooring in Work/Office Settings

It’s also important to consider the floors that are at the workplace. While a good pair of shoes can do the trick, the sounds emanating from floors at the office can make an impact. High levels of noise can lead to increased stress levels and decreased productivity.

As more and more people move to standing desks, the quality of the floors becomes critical. A softer underfoot will make this easier on employees. Consider workplace collaboration too. As more people move around, a softer underfoot may be ideal. Most workplace floors are typically laminate, hardwood or old carpet.

Linking in the stories above, what if your office has cheap laminate, like those from Lumber Liquidators? Imagine the effects on your health from formaldehyde. What if the floors you work on had toxic phthalates? Can you picture what your life might be like after those chemicals get inside your system?

Consider asking your employer about the quality of floors at your workplace. It’s an unconventional question to ask but one that can have big implications on your health, going forward.

What Can You Do?

The best you can do is to ask questions. If you’re shopping for new floors, make sure that you find out where the floors are made in and what the products are manufactured with. Ask your employer the same questions about the floors at your workplace.

Get the information you need about the products you’re about to make an investment in. It’s not only an investment in your home but an investment in what your life might be like later on.

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