Healthy flooring alternatives? Why do I even care about that?
A lack of healthy flooring alternatives might be a significant factor in the number of people that are complaining these days about allergies and asthma. That can be quite astounding if you start to pay attention to this problem that is on the verge of epidemic. What might be the most amazing is that people are typically spending more time and money suffering or taking medicine that compounds the problems than trying to take the bull by the horns, especially when it comes to kids. How many folks rush their children straight to the specialist rather than let things run their course naturally. The doctors are all too quick to provide inhalers, steroids and antihistamines to settle health problems that can generally be attributed to carpet and rugs as well as lots of other things hiding in our homes.
Consider the following:
Sources of Asthma, Allergy & Runny Nose and some alternatives:
- Cleaning & Disinfecting Products (use vinegar, borax, baking soda and bleach occasionally)
- Paints, Stains & Coatings (find non toxic solutions and don’t confuse Zero VOC with Non Toxic)
- Foams & Paddings (avoid urethane, styrene and all other foams and spongy synthetics using jute and natural fibers instead)
- Synthetic Chemicals (keep your loved ones away from epoxy, urethane and smelly solvents)
- Food-Based Toxins (pesticide and fertilizer sludge residues are toxic…. grow your own or buy organic)
- Airborne Dusts & Toxins (use hepa and negative ionization to filter the airborne dusts from coal burning and cars that is in the air)
- Carpet, Flooring & Adhesives (glues, vinyls, synthetic rubber, foams, plastic yarns…why not use natural & healthy flooring alternatives if possible)
Generally, much of what we are being exposed to is plastic or a derivative of plastic or petroleum and our bodies are simply not equipped to combat the huge volume of these volatile chemicals being thrown at us. A good resource for understanding some of this is found here at this site with information from the EPA; Indoor Air Quality or see their video on Indoor Air Quality below. Ultimately it will be up to the manufacturers to make healthy flooring alternatives since the government and our legislators can not even begin to control this problem.
Don’t think for a second that your government or anyone for that matter except your mother might know what is best for you. In fact, it has been proposed that most men do not have the sensitivity to odor to protect themselves and their families from chronic or even acute chemical hazards. If you think about it, most men live shorter live and most tradesmen are men. This is no coincidence. There is a theory that men, having done all the smelly jobs like fighting, burying the dead and butchering animals for thousands of years have lost much of their natural sensitivity to odor or can turn it off as a coping skill. Men seem to be in charge of most building product specification and purchasing and are typically the ones who are saying “what are you worrying about” to their partners or clients.
Using healthy flooring alternatives that are bacteriostatic like linoleum can prevent the growth of many harmful bacteria and that is the reason it is used in hospitals and schools. Additionally, linoleum after it’s natural oils have cured in the factory has virtually none of the off-gassing from composite flooring and other products that require the use of solvent based adhesives. The adhesives used with linoleum flooring leaves little in the way of chemical smell to bother people after the installation.