Kids Carry Toxic Chemicals in Their Bodies from Vinyl Flooring, Furniture

The results of a new scientific study on toxins in the home are quite disturbing. It appears children’s bodies are taking in the toxic chemicals from vinyl flooring and fire retardant furniture in their homes. More specifically, the results demonstrated that children living in homes with all vinyl flooring or flame-retardant chemicals in the sofa have significantly higher concentrations of potentially harmful semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) in their blood or urine than children from homes where these materials are not present.

Children carry evidence of toxins from home flooring and furniture:

Vinyl flooring and fire retardant furniture foam apparently to blame


Overview of study

Researchers from Duke University, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Boston University conducted a three-year study of in-home exposures to SVOCs among 203 children from 190 families.

The primary goal was to investigate links between specific products and children’s exposures, and to determine how the exposure happened — whether through breathing, skin contact or inadvertent dust inhalation.

The team analyzed samples of indoor air, indoor dust and foam collected from furniture in each of the children’s homes, along with a handwipe sample, urine and blood from each child.

Researchers quantified 44 biomarkers of exposure to phthalates, organophosphate esters, brominated flame retardants, parabens, phenols, antibacterial agents and perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).


Overview of findings

-Children living in homes where the sofa in the main living area contained flame-retardant polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in its foam had a six-fold higher concentration of PBDEs in their blood serum.

Exposure to PBDEs has been linked in laboratory tests to neurodevelopmental delays, obesity, endocrine and thyroid disruption, cancer and other diseases.

-Children from homes that had vinyl flooring in all areas were found to have concentrations of benzyl butyl phthalate metabolite in their urine that were 15 times higher than those in children living with no vinyl flooring.

Benzyl butyl phthalate has been linked to respiratory disorders, skin irritations, multiple myeolma and reproductive disorders.



Reference: Stapleton, H., et al. Children carry evidence of toxins from home flooring and furniture:  Vinyl flooring and fire retardant furniture foam apparently to blame. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C., Feb. 17, 2019. source


Related research findings on toxic chemicals in home products: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9