Floorcovering Selections -
Poison Optional (Download the PDF)
Heavy metals such as Cadmium, Lead, Mercury, Chromium and others
are accepted by scientists as being toxic and harmful to health. As well
as occurring naturally in the environment, two of the industrial uses
of heavy metals include their use as stabilizers and pigments in the
manufacture of some vinyl products. They are used because they are a
lower cost option and perform well in various manufacturing processes.
As awareness about the harmful effects of heavy metals has increased,
their use has been reduced.
How do METALS get into flooring?
Heavy metals still end up in many luxury vinyl wood plank and
tile (LVT) products purchased by consumers. Some manufacturers
incorporate high levels of post consumer recycled vinyl (50% - 75% of
the product) into the backing layer of their product and promote this as
an environmental benefit to specifiers. What those specifiers are not
told is that the recycled material is of unknown origin and that it
often contains poisonous heavy metals. The real reason manufacturers use
post consumer recycled material is because it costs about half as much
as the higher quality virgin vinyl.
Traverse recycles production scrap internally (post industrial
recycled content recycled within Traverse own manufacturing process –
i.e. materials of known origin) but uses ZERO post consumer recycled
material in production of our Boardwalk, Obelisk, Homewoods and Timeless
Hand Scraped ranges. Traverse uses virgin/first use raw materials only,
so the precise formulation of the product is known.
is in favor of envrironmentally sound recycling because the
environmental benefits of recycling many products are abundantly clear.
In the case of vinyl flooring products however, there are negative
consequences resulting from the use of recycled material with no
benefits other than a lower production cost for manufacturers and a
perceived benefit in the marketplace that the word "recycled" means that
a product is environmentally friendly. When we dig deeper, recycled can
no longer be labeled "green" if the resulting product contains higher
levels of toxins.
Traverse products have been tested in accordance with ASTM
E1479-99 (2011). We suggest that all potential suppliers be asked to
provide their test results for the specific name of the product being
considered alongside Traverse for a project. Traverse has had the clear
vinyl wear layer and the backing material tested separately. This is
designed to show that the entire product is heavy metal free and show
complete transparency on the part of Traverse Flooring. Competitors
might be tempted to only test the wear layer of their product and not
test the backing material where the heavy metals are to be found.
To put the results in perspective: If it's safe for children's toys, it's safe for flooring.
|Current ASTM F 963 Migration
Limit for each Metal - Children's Toys
||Maximum Migration Limit MG/KG Product
||Traverse Boardwalks & Obelisk Wear Layer
||Traverse Boardwalk & Obelisk Backing
||Traverse Homewoods Wear Layer
||Traverse Homewoods Backing
|Note 1: mm / kg = parts per million (ppm)
Note 2: All Traverse results listed in mm / kg / parts per million (ppm)
Note 3: Testing carried out in accordance with ASTM E1479-99 (2011). Test results in mm / kg / ppm as with ASTM F 963
Reference: Consumer Product Safety Commission Report (03.14.2012)
*see www.TraverseFlooring.com/technical for full testing information
Why is it IMPORTANT?
vinyl woodplank and tile is a product category with fantastic design
possibilities and far superior overall performance for commercial uses
than the natural materials the product replicates. At Traverse we have
worked hard to separate ourselves from other flooring ranges in terms of
Specifiers are increasingly interested in knowing what is in the
make up of different interior finishes and Traverse knows that more
environmentally conscious clients do not want toxic materials within
As interest continues to grow in understanding what is actually
in products and to understand how those ingredients may impact peoples
health and well being, the goal at Traverse is to show how our product
is better and prove it with independent testing. As we continue to build
trust in the Traverse brand we are not saying "Please believe what we
tell you." We are saying "our door is open, come in and look around
because we have nothing to hide."