Friday, June 08, 2012

Infants take up chemicals in PVC floors: Study

Children absorb phthalates, a softening agent in PVC floors, through ingestion, inhalation and contact with skin, researchers warn
Infants can absorb chemicals through
house dust and other sources.

PVC floors tend to be a popular choice in many households because of perceived durability, resistance and affordability. But the chemicals in the flooring materials may be absorbed by our bodies and they may pose a significant risk to children in particular, researchers say.

A new study at the Karlstad University in Sweden shows that children can ingest the softening agents with food, by breathing and through the skin.

Phthalates are suspected of disrupting hormones and causing asthma and allergies as well as other chronic diseases in children.

Flooring materials using softened PVC are a major source of phthalates in indoor dust, but phthalates can also be found in construction materials, toys, cleaning solvents, packaging and other sources.

The researchers examined urine samples from 83 randomly selected children between the ages of two and six months in western Sweden.

They measured the prevalence of four types of phthalates in the urine and collected data on the home, the flooring materials, family lifestyle and individual factors for each infant.

The study shows that the uptake of banned chemicals is dependent on a variety of factors, not only food, which should be taken into account when examining toxicity or health effects.

Source: Swedish Research Council

Air purifiers for cleaner air

Young children are part of the most vulnerable groups when it comes to indoor air pollution – and chemicals as well as their possible cumulative health effects over time have become a major concern for health professionals and researchers alike.

Parents can help reduce exposure by choosing more natural and greener products and materials, cleaning regularly (with non-toxic cleaning products), ensuring adequate ventilation and providing cleaner and healthier air throughout the home.

AllerAir has developed air purifiers for the home and office that can remove the widest range of indoor air contaminants, including airborne chemicals, gases, odors, fumes, particles and biological pollutants with a proven activated carbon + HEPA filtration system.

The air purifiers can be stand-alone units or attached to existing ventilation systems (whole home air purifiers).

Contact AllerAir for more information and options.

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