Is PVC wood flooring safe? Do PVC tiles (which simulate the look of wood) have harmful chemicals and off-gases?

Asked by Desi Fournier
Daly City, CA

We are considering using these PVC wood tiles in our bedroom which, for a time, will also serve as a nursery for our baby. My wife is currently 7 months pregnant. But I am thinking that PVC, being vinyl, might be harmful and give off off-gases which might harm the baby. Is there any SAFE PVC flooring available in the market and what should I look for?


Molly McCabe, AKBD, CGP, CAPS

Answered by Molly McCabe, AKBD, CGP, CAPS

Bainbridge Island, WA

A Kitchen That Works LLC

April 23, 2012

Dear Desi,

Poly Vinyl Chloride is a known carcinogen. Products containing PVC should be avoided, at the very least, by anyone who is in reproductive mode or expects to be in reproductive mode at some point in their life.

Most PVC products off-gas and can be irritating (to lungs, skin and brain functioning) when installed in a conditioned space such as a home. There are so many healthier floor options available that there is little incentive to installing PVC based products in one’s home.

I encourage you to search the Green Home Guide data base for a wide variety of posts on flooring to determine which flooring materials might be best for you and your home.

Best wishes,



For more information:

Read "Can you give me information on Naturcor vinyl sheet flooring?" a Q&A answered by Molly McCabe.

Tagged In: pvc safety

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