Vinyl Group Touts Environmental Data
Not linoleum, not cork: the first industry-wide environmental product declarations for flooring cover vinyl and rubber.The Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI) recently released the first set of industry-wide environmental product declarations (EPDs) for flooring. These documents describe a product’s life-cycle-based environmental impacts from cradle to grave and are meant to offer a consistent format to compare environmental attributes.
RFCI released five EPDs in all—for vinyl tile, vinyl composition tile (VCT), homogeneous vinyl, heterogeneous vinyl, and rubber tile—all of which were certified by EPD program operator UL. Twelve manufacturers provided data for the EPDs, setting the stage for these companies’ vinyl and rubber flooring products to contribute to.
Although quantifying the health impacts of products is not required (see “”), the EPDs include some health-related information. For example, the products included in the heterogeneous vinyl EPD are all certified as low-emitting through the FloorScore program.
This same EPD, however, does not cover potential health effects from phthalate plasticizers (semi-volatile organic compounds, many of which are reproductive toxicants and suspected), nor does it address other known health issues with vinyl flooring, such as and or degrades. VOC emissions released during the are also excluded from the listed “use inputs” in that EPD, though it mentions that low-VOC cleaning products are available.
Although the Vinyl Institute has expressed concern that LEED v4 would, the newly released EPDs demonstrate there is still room in the new rating system for these materials, which are valued by project teams for their low first cost and durability.
Pearson, C. (2013, September 30). Vinyl Group Touts Environmental Data. Retrieved from https://www.buildinggreen.com/newsbrief/vinyl-group-touts-environmental-data