Adult Health

8 Dangerous Chemicals in Wallpaper

Written by andy

Dangerous chemicals in wallpaper?! Who knew?

It’s amazing how many different chemicals are lurking around your home! You know of the chemicals in your medicine cabinet and under your kitchen sink, but there are so many other things around your home that contain chemicals–many of them seriously harmful to your health!

According to chemical tests conducted by the Ecology Center, your wallpaper may be the next hazardous source of harmful chemicals in your home. There may very well be dangerous chemicals in wallpaper used in your house! The Ecology Center conducted tests on more than 1,000 types of flooring and a stunning 2,300 different types of wallpaper. The results of their study proved that a shocking number of these products contain a wide range of chemicals. These chemicals include:

  • Lead
  • Chlorine
  • Bromine
  • Cadmium
  • Arsenic
  • Mercury
  • Tin compounds
  • Phthalates

All of these chemicals are heavy metals, and they have been linked to health problems such as:

  • Cancer
  • Birth defects
  • Liver toxicity
  • Asthma
  • Reproductive problems
  • Learning disabilities

Pretty serious news, right?

But how can you know if your wallpaper is harmful for your health? What kinds of wallpaper contain these dangerous chemicals, and which are safe?

It all comes down to three little letters: PVC.

If your wallpaper is made with PVC, it’s far more likely to contain these hazardous chemicals than wallpaper (or flooring) made without PVC. PVC is made using phthalates, and it was proven that PVC products are 700% more likely to contain harmful chemicals than non-PVC products. Roughly 45% of PVC-containing products were loaded with chemicals, compared to 6% of those non-PVC products. Yikes!

READ MORE: Why Glycophosphate Is So Dangerous

Here are a few more discoveries made by the Ecology Center research:

  • Only 5% of all flooring products contain lead, and the highest levels of lead were found in PVC products. Flooring made from bamboo, cork, hardwood, or linoleum didn’t contain ANY harmful chemicals, only the vinyl products!
  • Anything made from PVC (which stands for polyvinyl chloride) has up to a 3,000% higher chance of containing harmful chemicals than non-vinyl products.
  • Up to 34% of wallpapers containing vinyl (PVC) contained enough chemicals for the portable X-ray fluorescence analyzers to detect them. 15% of the flooring that contained PVC also had the same high levels of chemicals.
  • More than 50% of wallpaper made with PVC contained one or more harmful chemicals in sufficient quantities to cause concern. More than 40 parts-per-million of lead, antimony, cadmium, and chromium were found in these PVC wallpapers.

What does all this mean for you? How can you avoid bringing dangerous chemicals into your home? Easy: don’t buy PVC products.

When shopping for wallpaper, look for products that do not contain PVC. Buy flooring made from hardwood, cork, linoleum, or bamboo, and look for non-PVC wallpaper. Do that, and your home will be a much safer place to live. You won’t have to worry about chemicals from these non-vinyl alternatives.

Sadly, finding non-PVC wallpaper may be easier said than done. Many manufacturers make their wallpaper using PVC, simply because the PVC makes the wallpaper more resistant to damage and wear. You may have to do some serious hunting in order to find non-PVC wallpaper, and you will likely pay a higher price.

As the study above proved, PVC wallpaper contains some pretty serious chemicals that can cause damage not only to your body, but to the bodies of your family. You don’t want to expose your family to those harmful chemicals, do you?

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About the author


Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.

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