Recycled PVC inside vinyl floor tiles often contains lead and other additives from rubber-covered wiring, according to researchers.
By Candace Pearson
Researchers worry that lead in vinyl tile may disproportionately affect low income households, as it tends to be a low-cost flooring option and exposure may increase if tiles are damaged and not replaced.
Lead has a long history of being used as a stabilizer for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products, though it has been phased out and is now only occasionally used to add durability in wire insulation. But lead and other serious toxic substances might still appear in “cleaner” PVC materials because wire jackets are commingled into the PVC recycling stream to make new flooring and other building products, according to a report from the Healthy Building Network and StopWaste.