Is my wallpaper toxic?

So many home décor products that we buy are not only hazardous to our health, they are bad for the environment and with some research we have learned that the safer option it is safer for our health and your health and the the health of your family is always your No1 priority, not only is it safer but it is recyclable and environmentally friendly, which means "good karma" for you and as a bonus these products are higher in quality too.

How do I know if my wallpaper is toxic?

Recent studies have shown that most wallpapers tested contained some level of phthalates (PVC), they found low levels of some heavy metals such as cadmium and lead and significant levels of phthalates which is a hormone like chemical.  Most of us have some exposure to phthalates daily – their substances are commonly added to plastics to increase their flexibility and durability, these products can found in every household.

Here is a list of things in your home that contain PVC:

  • Kids School backpacks
  • Luggage, Bags
  • inflatables
  • bank cards/credit cards
  • Certain Sporting equipment

What does this mean for my health?

Unfortunately Phthalates have been linked to asthma, birth defects, learning disabilities, liver toxicity and cancer and many other illnesses.  Studies have also found that higher phthalate levels in pregnant women were linked to alterations in the reproductive tracts of baby boys. 

Wallpaper containing Phthalates (PVC) are constantly emitting Toxic fumes, your wallpaper may be the next hazardous source of harmful chemicals in your home, with dangerous chemicals including Lead, Chlorine, Bromine, Cadmium, Arsenic, Mercury, Tin compounds. 

It all comes down to:  PVC

Wallpaper made with PVC is more likely to contain these hazardous chemicals as PVC is made using phthalates and it has been proven that PVC products are 700% more likely to contain these harmful chemicals than non-PVC products.

So how can I avoid bringing these dangerous chemicals into my home?  Don’t buy products containing PVC!

As studies have proved, PVC wallpaper contains serious chemicals causing damage not only to your body, but the bodies of your family.  Our children are always playing on the floors and touching the walls.

Is there an alternative? 

Yes, and it’s called PVC free wallpaper!

PVC contains dangerous chemical additives like phthalates and these harmful chemicals can be toxic to your child's health. ... That's why it's important to purchase PVC-free products.

So how do we know if the wallpaper we want to buy is harmful to our health?

If you are buying it directly from a retail store, look for a brand that is PVC free, if you are buying it from an online retailer or interior designer, be sure to specify that you only want PVC free wallpaper.

Is the print inks used to print on the wallpaper and vinyl toxic?

Yes and unfortunately most of the printing industry use solvent-based inks. The solvents contained hazardous chemicals that have a nasty odour and burn violently. The volatile compounds in the solvents are poisonous to people and harmful to the environment. 

Fortunately, the technology used to manufacture ink has improved greatly in the last decade.  And latex ink was introduced as an alternative to solvent.  The water-based latex ink does not lose its vibrant colours like solvent inks.   Resins contained in latex ink dissolve by heat and form a membrane to firmly fix pigments to the surface of the media.  Therefore, the graphics printed with latex ink are higher in quality than graphics printed with solvent inks. It can print onto all the same materials as solvent ink. With competing prices which continue to fall, we are seeing the industry embracing this new format.

Latex ink gained the GREENGUARD GOLD and ECOLOGO certification. Materials printed with latex ink can be recycled more easily and these new inks are not flammable, they don’t contain hazardous air pollutants and they are nickel-free.  Products printed with latex ink can be placed in sensitive areas; prints are perfect for indoor displays in restaurants, hospitals and day-care centres where other traditional inks are not allowed to be used.  So, it is safe to say that you can use these products throughout your home, even in the dining room and kitchen.

No ventilation required while printing, no after printing airing process and best of all, no chemical leeching.

Additionally, latex ink has a glossiness equivalent to solvent inks, and it has an outdoor weather-ability – crucial for outdoor signage.

With the rise of desire for environmentally minded products by consumers, the interest of the value of environment is growing.  If you want a safer environment for our home, only use latex ink materials and avoid PVC products.  Choose to eco-conscious!