Why Use Hardwood Finishes Free of Volatile Organic Compounds?

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Concern for the environment is a hot issue around the globe.  While the focus on ‘going green’ is by no means a new concept – in the past few years alone, consumers and business owners in the United States have experienced a push for more eco-friendly products, processes, and ways of living.  Major corporations, like Wal-Mart, are even beginning to place the environment as a top priority by launching their own green initatives focused on sustainability.  Likewise, many states are mandating ‘green building’ for publicly funded new construction in an effort to expand sustainable building practices.  Click here to read more about California’s Green Building Initiative.

The hardwood flooring industry has seen many changes over the last few years as a result of an increased environmental focus.  One issue that previously raised much concern among critics was the VOC content present in hardwood finishes.  What is VOC?  Why is it important to use finishes that are free of VOCs?  Keep reading to find out the answers to these frequently asked questions.

What Is VOC?

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are the gases emitted from certain solids or liquids – some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. You would probably be surprised to learn just how many of your household goods contain VOCs.  Here are some examples, just to name a few: paints and lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials and furnishings, office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper, glues and adhesives, permanent markers, and photographic solutions.  How can you tell if an item contains VOCs?  Strong fumes are often a good indicator.

Health Risks Of Volatile Organic Compounds

VOCs can pose a wide range of health risks.  Depending on the level of exposure and length of time exposed, one may experience adverse symptoms such as eye, nose, and throat irritation as well as dizziness and headaches.  Long or repeated exposure to VOCs can cause damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system.  To learn more about the health risks associated with VOCs, click here.

Eco-Friendly, VOC-Free Hardwood Finishes

Not only are products containing VOCs dangerous to a person’s health, these products also contribute to air pollution.  Fortunately, with the introduction of VOC-free hardwood floor finishes, consumers can now make a conscious decision to live a greener lifestyle and, at the same time, maintain the aesthetic beauty of their hardwood floors.  Offered below are some additional benefits of VOC-free hardwood finishes

  1. Reduced Health Risks.  If you’re starting a wood flooring project in your home, remember to select products that are 100% VOC-free.  Buying flooring products that contain no volatile organic compounds is the best way to eliminate potential health and environmental risks.
  2. Easy Disposal.  As opposed to traditional flooring finishes, those that are 100% VOC-free are very easy to dispose of upon completion of a project. Because of their natural ingredients and the fact that they are water-based, these types of finishes do not need to be taken to a hazardous waste center. Simply let open containers sit in a well-ventilated area, and once they solidify, place them in the trash.

Want To Learn More About VOC-Free Finishes?

At Universal Hardwood, we are proud to carry Wakol and Loba wood flooring products that are 100% VOC Free/Emicode EC1R. To learn more visit our showroom, email us, or call today!

Not sure which product is right for you? Simply click on the button below to ask one of our hardwood flooring experts. Our friendly staff is happy to answer any questions you may have and assist you in your decision making process.
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