Laminate and living environment

Many people do not consider laminate to be a very high quality floor covering; many also suspect that it will have a negative impact on the living environment and possibly even on health. How laminate affects the living environment compared to other floor coverings, you can read here.

Possible health risks

In many building materials are potential health risks, often hidden. This also applies to floor coverings.

Laminate is often touted by sellers and manufacturers as "non-polluting" and "near-natural". However, studies show that this is very often not true. Laminate can contain a high amount of hazardous pollutants.

formaldehyde

Laminate floors can exude formaldehyde. The delivery to the room is already at room temperature. Formaldehyde is a substance used in plastics production.

The exhalations can cause allergies, but the most common formaldehyde effect is usually a classic set of symptoms:

  • memory problems
  • Concentration disorders, which can be quite massive
  • sleep disorders
  • Eye irritation and red, watery eyes

After a re-evaluation of the BfR, the prolonged uptake of formaldehyde via the respiratory air can now be considered as carcinogenic, ie carcinogenic. In the case of evaporating floor coverings, this is certainly the case as formaldehyde is constantly released into the breathing air over the years.

The value considered as "safe" is 0.1 ppm with formaldehyde - here, however, the total load in the house must be taken into account by chipboard, synthetic resin paints and varnishes and other sources. In about 5 percent of all German households, this value is significantly exceeded, there are often laid laminate flooring.

When buying one can also orientate on the emission class: The emission class E 1, as defined by EN 120/92 for building materials, means that the limit of 7 mg formaldehyde per 100 g is not exceeded.

VOC

The abbreviation VOC stands for volatile organic compounds and refers to volatile carbon compounds. These substances can also endanger your health. They are highly contained in lacquers and paints, but can also be found in the resin coating of laminate from where they exude.

Indoor VOCs can severely affect your health. The damage caused by them is summarized under the term sick-building syndrome.

Sick building syndrome

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) refers to a range of disease symptoms that can not be clearly assigned to a cause, but are related to the home or work building. In German, there is more talk of "sick-home syndrome" or MCS (multi-chemical syndrome).

It is characteristic that the individual substances occur in a harmless dosage, but together they can cause health problems, namely:

  • constant fatigue, languor, fatigue
  • a headache
  • Irritation of eyes, watery eyes
  • Irritation of the respiratory tract
  • Disorders of the immune system
  • Damage to the liver
  • Damage to the kidneys

In the long term, it is believed that a high level of exposure to VOCs also poses a very high risk of cancer.

Conclusion

Although laminate is popular as a very low cost flooring, in some cases it can exude a high level of harmful substances. To make matters worse, that the flooring covers a very large compared to other building materials in the household.

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