Did you know there may be secret environmental offenders hovering throughout your home? Actually, the chances are pretty good they are there unless you have been consciously pro-active. According to EPA studies, indoor pollutant levels can be up to five times higher than those outside your home and you don’t have to travel far to see why. The answer is right under your feet. During the installation of new flooring or carpeting, hundreds of Volatile Organic Compounds (or VOC’s - some containing potential carcinogenic elements) can be released into your home’s atmosphere. Many take years to dissipate. That's scary! Right now I am imagining my grandbabies rolling around on my carpet.
So what can the average homeowner do? Education on green alternatives is an important first step. There are several flooring choices that provide responsible and healthy living options for your family and/or your clients:
- Bamboo's density makes it a tough, durable product that is easily sustainable because it is copious and grows very quickly. (And, bamboo is almost 30% harder that red oak.)
- Recycled glass tiles can add style and color to your project while remaining environment-friendly and atmospherically clean - a great choice for any bath or kitchen project.
- Natural linoleum is another great flooring option because it is not only biodegradable but hypo-allergenic as well.
- There is a wide-range of eco-friendly carpets that are competitively priced made with natural fibers and treated with minimal chemicals or no chemicals at all.
But what can a client with immediate health issues do? If you or your client has a recently installed toxic carpet there is still hope for health. Thankfully, a quick fix is available that won’t break the bank. For a swift remedy to the gaseous situation, purchase a nontoxic carpet sealant. This sealant forms an insoluble water barrier and is odor resistant lasting through as many as five carpet cleanings. Go to AFM Safecoat’s website for more information. The site lists many green sealant options for all types of pesky offenders as well as environmentally responsible paints, stains, and other green products.