WASHINGTON, April 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new study found that most vinyl flooring tested contained toxic phthalates, a number of which have been banned in children's products since 2009. The flooring samples tested were purchased from major home improvement retailers including Lowe's and Lumber Liquidators. Researchers found that, of 65 vinyl flooring tiles tested, 38 (58 percent), contained phthalates. Phthalates are commonly found in flooring at levels which exceed U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) children's product standards for phthalates. The study also surveyed major retailers to assess whether they have adopted policies to eliminate phthalates in flooring. The survey found that The Home Depot is far ahead of its competitors by requiring its suppliers to eliminate ortho-phthalates in all virgin vinyl flooring by the end of 2015.
The company has been working with the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families "Mind the Store" campaign to develop this policy since the spring of 2014. The HealthyStuff.org study is being co-released with Mind the Store.
"We congratulate The Home Depot on this landmark initiative," said Andy Igrejas, director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. "As the world's largest home improvement retailer, Home Depot's new policy sends a strong signal to the marketplace that retailers want healthier building materials free of harmful chemicals like phthalates. We call on Lowe's and other major home improvement retailers to join Home Depot in phasing out phthalates in flooring."
Over the last six months, the researchers tested 65 flooring tiles for substances that have been linked to asthma, birth defects, learning disabilities, reproductive problems, liver toxicity, and cancer. The flooring tiles were sampled from five national flooring retailers: Ace Hardware, build.com, Lowe's, Lumber Liquidators, and Menards. Samples were acquired from retailers in seven states.
"Our study shows that hazardous plasticizers called phthalates are still too commonplace in vinyl tile flooring," said Jeff Gearhart, research director for HealthyStuff.org, the organization that conducted the product testing. "We also identified the beginnings of a market shift, with one-third of the products tested already using less hazardous plasticizers."
For full study results, visit HealthyStuff.org. The full version of this press release and related items can also be found at HealthyStuff.org and SaferChemicals.org.
SOURCE Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families