Is TPO Olefin toxic? I am looking for non-toxic window shade fabric.

Asked by Andreas
Tampa, FL

I am about to order custom roller shades for large windows in my home. I have chemical sensitivities and I am very concerned about indoor air quality and outgassing of chemicals. I just discovered that the shade fabric I chose (Phifer SheerWeave 4000) contains PVC. The manufacturer (Phifer) offers one fabric line that they say is PVC-free, but the "PVC-free" coating is TPO Olefin. Does anyone know if TPO Olefin contains harmful toxins? Or know of any similar shade fabric that is non-toxic? Also, does anyone know how objective, accurate, or stringent Greenguard certification is? 


Edward Wright

Answered by Edward Wright

Cincinnati, OH

Wright Design, LLC

June 12, 2012


Perkins + Will maintains a good resource called the "Precautionary List" here.

  • This information is organized as an Architect would specify a building product. So your interest in shades would be found in Division 12.
  • There is also an alphabetical list of substances, so you can look-up PVC, for example.

An alternative listed for PVC coatings on shades is Thermoplastic Olefin.

As of 2011 Greenguard is a business unit of Underwriters Laboratories, which is a is an independent product safety certification organization.

Good luck with your research,


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