December 19, 1863, English frederick Walton patented linoleum, which quickly became a popular floor cover. But recently it is less commonly used for decoration of premises - linoleum is considered non-ecological material. If you decide to spend New Year's holidays on upgrading your apartment, check out our list of health-safe materials.
Strictly speaking, Walton has patented a slightly different linoleum - not the one we see most often in everyday life. It was a material based on vegetable oils.
The high cost of plant raw material has led to a change in the technology of production of linoleum - in the 50's of the last century, as a basis for this material began to use polyvinyl chloride. After several decades it became clear that it is hazardous to health - it secretes phenol and phthalates, chlorine and formaldehyde, which accumulate in the body, impair the functioning of the immune system, hormonal background, affect the work of the liver and kidneys, probably contribute to the development of allergies, Infertility
Therefore, now more and more popular natural linoleum - the same, based on vegetable oils. He, of course, is much more expensive than synthetic.
We have already written about the damage to finishing materials for the environment and the microclimate of housing. The use of environmentally hazardous building materials leads to the fact that the air in the apartment becomes 8 times dirtier air near the lively highway. In order to minimize the damage to health from the repairs, it is necessary to choose environmental building materials.
Rules for choosing environmental building materials
First of all, it is important to understand that almost any material can be both toxic and harmless, depending on the technology of its production. So, a natural tree with varnish coating becomes a source of very toxic toluene and xylene. And natural linoleum is completely safe for health.
The general rules for choosing harmless materials for health are as follows.
Building materials must have an environmental safety certificate. The safest products suitable for homes, belong to the class E1 and are marked accordingly. E2 class of materials can be used as a walk-through areas (eg hallways) but we would not advise - in our small apartments are housing premises can be considered. But the materials of class E3 are suitable only for non-residential premises.
One more nuance - where exactly the products are certified. Ukrainian norms are less severe than European ones. Therefore, European building materials (made on the territory of the European Union) are likely to be more environmentally friendly.
When choosing environmental building materials, experts advise to pay attention to the smell. Indeed, safe materials should not give off unpleasant, sharp, synthetic or rubber odor.
Eco-materials for the floor
The most harmless materials are wood. Therefore, the choice of flooring and furniture designers ekointer'yeriv advised to give preference parquet and wooden furniture.
However, it is important to keep in mind that the wood, not covered with varnish, is short-lived. And exactly the varnish and mastics can become the source of air pollution in the apartment. Thus, varnishes secrete xylene and toluene, which are hazardous to health.
Pairs of toluene penetrate through the skin and respiratory organs and cause irreversible damage to the nervous system, the organs of the blood stream, and, moreover, it has a mild narcotic effect. Therefore, cheaper parquet will have to pick up an expensive and environmentally friendly varnish.
From cheaper materials it is possible to mention the laminate with the class of environmental safety E1. It can also be used as a floor covering even for children's rooms.
Environmentally harmless is also the cortical floor, but it is very expensive. As for linoleum, as already mentioned, for eco-interior design, you need to choose a natural linoleum. Synthetic contains polyvinylchloride, its specific odor is easy to hear when laying new linoleum.
It is believed that vinyl chloride has a complex toxic effect on the body: causing damage to the brain, bone system, systemic connective tissue damage, liver, suppresses the immune system. In addition, vinyl chloride is a carcinogen.
Eco-materials for walls
The most safe material is paper. Paper wallpapers are very strong, there are two-layer, anti-vandal. Bamboo wallpapers also consist of cellulose fibers and have all the advantages of ordinary paper.
Also, environmentally friendly wallpaper can be classified as textile and vegetable, but their price significantly differs from paper to the bigger side.
Recently there were glass wallpapers - strong, environmentally safe, incombustible during a fire and relatively inexpensive. However, if you hit glass fiber fragments on the skin is possible allergy and itching. Therefore, they need to be glued in rubber gloves and not to break the fiber.
But the popular because of its beauty and cheap vinyl wallpaper can not be classified as environmentally friendly. They are based on the same polyvinylchloride, which can be a source of phenol, heavy metals, formaldehyde, chlorine and phthalates in the room. Like stretch ceilings, and plastic windows - all of it is made of PVC.
Strictly speaking, the damage to polyvinyl chloride is proved only with its combustion, during which dioxin is released - a toxic and extremely dangerous substance. PVC manufacturers state that in the normal state (without heating) polyvinylchloride does not emit harmful substances or allocates within the limits of permissible concentrations.
Environmentalists, however, argue the opposite and give evidence as laboratory experiments on animals. Thus, the damage to PVC has not yet been proved to man. Nevertheless, PVC-based finishing materials are considered environmentally hazardous. Just in case.
And what to paint?
Another popular finishing material for walls and ceilings is paint. For the treatment of residential spaces environmentally friendly, water-emulsion paints can be called, in which water acts as a solvent. Oil paint with organic solvents is not recommended - when dried (and even after) they release irritating airways of the substance.
However, the composition of colors is so varied (and rarely completely indicated on the label), which is difficult to pick up the one that does not have anything to keep harmful substances at all. Therefore, in ecological repair it is desirable to use paint only in extreme cases.
The most common material for the manufacture of furniture - chipboard, that is, wood chips, associated with resins. These resins are the greatest danger to human health, as formaldehyde is released. Formaldehyde can cause damage to the nervous system, dermatitis, pulmonary edema, seizures. In chronic poisoning formaldehyde insomnia occurs, chronic fatigue, dizziness, headache, stroke and coordination. In addition, formaldehyde is a carcinogen.
It is not possible to make chipboard that does not emit formaldehyde, but its amount can be adjusted. The most secure DSP of the environmental class Super E.
Furniture made of solid wood would be safer, if not lacquer coating, and without it, such furniture will not last for long. In any case, when purchasing furniture, check the environmental certificate for the product.