When our partners at healthystuff.org tested vinyl floors, they found that over half of the brands studied contained plastics chemicals called phthalates, additives that studies show may affect a child's developing brain. Choose phthalate-free flooring (check the full list), or buy flooring from Home Depot, which required all of its suppliers to be phthalate-free by the end of 2015.
If you're installing or replacing a floor, check out options considered safer and easier on the environment than all types of vinyl, even phthalate-free. Our partners at Healthy Building Network recommend linoleum over vinyl. Other green choices include FSC-certified wood, bamboo and cork.
Vinyl flooring samples with and without phthalates were found at Lowes, Menards, Ace Hardware, Lumber Liquidators, and build.com. Home Depot is phthalate-free. See the complete list.
Whatever flooring you have in your home, be sure to wash your baby’s hands after they crawl and play on it. Infants and toddlers put their hands in their mouths 22 times every hour, on average. Dust, dirt and toxins cling to babies' hands, and are swallowed every time a baby puts hands or fingers in his or her mouth.