(NaturalNews) A new report from HealthyStuff.org has revealed that many common household materials are full of dangerous chemicals that cause asthma, birth defects, learning disabilities, reproductive problems, liver toxicity, and cancer. According to tests conducted by the non-profit Ecology Center, vinyl flooring and wallpaper in particular are loaded with phthalates, organotins, and lead, which are all a serious health threat.
NaturalNews recently covered a report from the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) highlighting the dangers of phthalates and how these chemicals plague all kinds of consumer plastic and rubber products (http://www.naturalnews.com/030092_phthalates...). But the new report takes it a step further, noting that the very floors and walls that children walk on and touch are highly toxic.
"The public needs to know that there are practically no restrictions on chemicals used in home improvement products," explained Jeff Gearhart, lead researcher at the Ecology Center and founder of HealthyStuff.org. "Our testing shows that toxic chemicals show up everywhere in home improvement products. If we don't want these chemicals in our toys, we certainly don't want them in our floors."
The Center tested over 1,000 flooring samples and roughly 2,300 types of wallpaper for lead, bromine (brominated flame retardants), chlorine (PVC), cadmium, arsenic, tin (organotins), phthalates and mercury. Ninety-six percent of tested wallpapers had PVC coatings and the vast majority of vinyl flooring samples contained four harmful phthalate plasticizers that have been banned in children's products.
Phthalates, which are used in plastic materials to make them soft and flexible, are known to disrupt hormonal balance and proper endocrine system function. They are also linked to reproductive, kidney, liver, and blood problems. A 2009 study out of Sweden even found a strong connection between phthalates and autism.
According to the report, safe alternatives to vinyl flooring include linoleum, cork, bamboo, and hardwood.