The causes and risks of poor indoor air quality

  •   11 October 2017

The causes of poor indoor air quality (IAQ) are well documented, with one of the major culprits being volatile organic compounds (VOCs) — chemical compounds “whose composition makes it possible for them to evaporate under normal indoor atmospheric conditions of temperature and pressure”.

In internal spaces, VOCs are typically off-gassed from building materials, office furnishings and finishes. This includes vinyl flooring, which is one of the most popular products used in our homes, hospitals, schools and offices today.

Despite its durability, affordability and variety, vinyl flooring has developed a poor reputation over the years for its environmental and well-being impacts.

The use of phthalates — the harmful substance that gives vinyl floors their relatively soft and yielding quality — is another big problem for architects, builders and specifiers who seek ‘healthier’ building products.

Enter Tarkett, a company who has consistently pioneered the improvement of vinyl flooring’s sustainability credentials for 60 years. By 2010, Tarkett had already implemented Phthalate-free technology in their production process.

The group first began reusing production and installation scraps in 1957 — a strategy that has since grown into a global sustainability approach to continually reuse materials in its manufacturing process.

All of Tarkett’s floors are designed with recycling in mind so that, at the end of their life, they can be sent back to factories to be used as raw material for new products.

But the company also understands that an environmentally friendly product is one that improves the wellbeing of users and building occupants. This is why its latest compact homogeneous vinyl flooring range, iQ One, addresses all of the concerns that the industry has with other flooring products.

iQ One is a new generation of homogeneous, non-PVC flooring that is the first to be certified Cradle to Cradle® Gold level. Completely recyclable, it has also achieved the Green Tag Level A Certificate issued by Global Green Tag.

The series is made with a unique formula of homogeneous thermoplastic flooring, and does not contain any PVC or phthalate plasticizers. Furthermore, iQ One emits very little VOCs — in line with Tarkett’s commitment to manufacture products that have VOC emissions that are 10 to 100 times lower than the most stringent regulations.

However, these green improvements have not affected the quality of the vinyl flooring. iQ One is ideal for high-traffic areas, and features superior resistance to wear, tear and stain. Even being phthalate free, it has outstanding flexibility to ease installation and coving.

Other benefits of the range include unique dry-buffing surface restoration properties, and coordinated non-PVC unicolour welding rods for perfect finish and water tightness.

With the lowest life cycle costs on the market and on chemicals consumption, iQ One is set to change the game in homogenous flooring. To find out more, click here.


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