The majority (58%) of vinyl tiles sampled contain phthalate plasticizers in the surface layer, which are hazardous at even low levels of exposure and have been banned in children’s toys. Moreover, almost all (89%) vinyl flooring surface layers contained organic tin-based stabilizers, commonly referred to as organotins. Over half of the samples tested contained multiple plasticizers. We also found safer alternative plasticizers in numerous flooring samples, indicating suppliers are beginning to transition to safer plasticizers.
Our investigation reveals for the first time that Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, has adopted a policy to eliminate the use of ortho-phthalates in all virgin vinyl flooring by the end of 2015. Home Depot is the first and only retailer to make this level of commitment. See Table 1. Learn more.
Table 1: Retailer Progress toward Eliminating Phthalates in Vinyl Flooring
Table 2: Phthalate Presence in Tested Surface Layers Sorted by Retailer
Table 3: Phthalate Presence in Tested Surface Layers Sorted by Brand
Our study allows consumers to identify phthalate-free options. Also, many of the retailers surveyed sell non-vinyl flooring alternatives. Healthier flooring options included those made out of bio-based linoleum, natural rubber, and ceramic tile.