Tile Council of North America (TCNA) released a new resource to communicate the benefits of choosing ceramic tile, particularly when health and safety are primary considerations. TCNA produced the bulletin to provide information in response to increasing interest in the health and safety aspects of various building materials, in both commercial and residential construction. TCNA Executive Director Eric Astrachan stated, “People are seeing media reports on formaldehyde in laminate flooring, and phthalates in the PVC in vinyl flooring, and are worried.” Astrachan added, “We don’t know which products specifically are concerning, but what we do know, and what we want to help consumers understand, is that these concerns are simply non-issues when it comes to ceramic tile.”
The bulletin points out several health, safety, and environmental attributes of ceramic tile. Because ceramic tile is VOC-, formaldehyde-, and PVC-free, health concerns related to flooring products are not an issue. It is also hypoallergenic and made of natural ingredients. According to the bulletin, some potential safety issues can also be eliminated by using ceramic tile. For example, because ceramic tile is non-flammable and does not produce smoke in a fire, it meets the flame spread and smoke development requirements of Section 803 of the International Building Code (IBC) for interior wall and ceiling materials. In addition, slip resistance is a top consideration for spaces where people walk on wet surfaces and there is a wide variety of slip-resistant tile offered. With a 60-year service life, ceramic tile is cost-effective and a good choice for reducing negative environmental impacts, resource use and demolition waste when compared to flooring products that need to be replaced more frequently.
“The scientific community is only recently starting to assess background exposure levels and to better understand how much interior finishes can affect human health. More and more research is being done as people realize the long term impact of various common chemicals in the built environment,” said Dr. Jyothi Rangineni, the TCNA research scientist who cited more than thirty sources to compose and validate the information in the bulletin. “We drew all of the information only from peer-reviewed scientific journals and science- and research-based entities such as the CDC and others,” stated Rangineni. “TCNA reviewed and summarized extensive research in this field, as well as CDC and EPA documents, to offer consumers and the construction industry a digestible version of current thinking and concerns,” said Astrachan. The sources the information was collected from are listed on the reverse of the bulletin.
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