Flooring retailer steps away from reprocessed plastic

Flooring retailer steps away from reprocessed plastic

Flooring retailer Lumber Liquidators, its products used in countless commercial building projects, is the first major retailer to commit to selling vinyl flooring made without reprocessed plastic.

The Mind the Store Campaign, a project of Safer Chemicals, Health Families, announced recently that Lumber Liquidators has committed to adopt new standards that require the company’s suppliers of vinyl flooring to end all use of reprocessed vinyl plastic in vinyl flooring and limit lead in flooring to less than 100 parts per million (PPM). The effort was highlighted in a press release from Mind the Store.

Since September, Lumber Liquidators also has required its suppliers to eliminate the use of ortho-phthalates in all vinyl flooring purchased. Additionally, Lumber Liquidators has committed to regularly commission independent laboratory testing by Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)-certified laboratories to monitor compliance with these policies.   

Lumber Liquidators worked with Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families’ Mind the Store Campaign to develop the framework for these standards, which are expected to be phased in over the next year.

“We are encouraged by Lumber Liquidators’ decision to sell vinyl flooring made without reprocessed plastic,” said Mike Schade, Mind the Store campaign director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. “This is a positive step, and we hope other major flooring and home improvement retailers will join Lumber Liquidators in eliminating this unnecessary plastic.”

Testing by the Ecology Center (Michigan) found that reprocessed vinyl plastic is often contaminated with lead, cadmium, brominated flame retardants, phthalates and other toxic chemicals. In at least 69 percent of the floors’ inner layers tested from six major retailers, lead was present at elevated concentrations.

Testing revealed lead levels as high as 10,000 PPM and cadmium at 20,000 PPM. The contamination results from the global trade in plastic waste, which is often recovered from the wire and cables from old computers and other electronics, according to the recent Healthy Building Network report “Post-Consumer Polyvinyl Chloride in Building Products.”

Topics: Architectural Firms, Building Owners and Managers, Construction Firms, Consulting - Green & Sustainable Strategies and Solutions, Engineering Firms, Flooring, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Interiors, Office Buildings, Sub-Flooring, Sustainable Trends and Statistics, Urban Planning and Design, Ventilation

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