Nontoxic and non-emitting materials: good for the indoor environmental quality

Understand what non-toxic materials are, how to incorporate them into construction, and the benefits to the project.

November 29, 2023   -  SUBJECT: SUSTAINABILITY

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It is still very common for building materials, paints, coatings and other items to emit some type of chemical element during or after their application or installation. These elements and emissions, even if they are not visible or easy to detect, are harmful to health and affect air quality.   

The scenario becomes even more serious when we consider that these emissions occur both outdoors and indoors, especially in buildings in the healthcare sector, for example, which require high standards of hygiene and air quality. On the other hand, the construction and decoration sector has learned a lot and today it is possible to choose products and materials that are non-toxic and can improve the quality of the environment.  

We've put together some information on how to implement non-toxic products in your project and all the benefits of making this choice. Check it out! 


What are non-toxic materials? 


Before we talk about non-toxic materials, let's explain how toxic materials are emitted. VOCs, also known as Volatile Organic Compounds, are molecules that, when vaporized and in contact with the air, significantly increase the average temperature of the environment. This increase in temperature degrades air quality, promotes the development of allergic diseases, and causes other health problems such as nausea, headaches, respiratory diseases, cancer, and others.  

Non-toxic materials, on the other hand, must meet certain standards to be labeled as such, and with non-toxic materials, the environment is not harmed even during the manufacturing process. Once installed, there is no danger in breathing or living in environments built with these types of products.  

All resins, gases and any other elements such as VOCs are not part of the composition of these materials. Today, they can be found in various types of building products and are an excellent green building option that preserves the health of the people who use these spaces, as well as nature. 

There are many benefits to choosing non-toxic products and materials, as well as a positive impact on the environment:

  • Improved air quality; 
  • Reduces pollution and groundwater contamination; 
  • Protects the health of construction workers; 
  • Ensures the well-being and health of people visiting the site; 
  • Adds value to construction 
  • Non-toxic materials have equivalent and competitive prices compared to conventional and toxic materials. 

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Coverings Eco-terr tiles at Gateway Center Project in Sunny Isles Florida

How to use non-toxic materials in projects 


Choosing non-toxic materials is an excellent way to promote a fairer and more balanced economy, in which the sector can increasingly expand the variety of products that benefit nature and the health of consumers.  

One of the ways to identify materials that are excellent substitutes for conventional products is to look for products that are certified for this type of material. These products are required to comply with specific quality criteria that guarantee the safety and efficiency of their use.  

At Coverings ETC, for example, as we are committed to using sustainable and non-toxic resources in our production, we focus on materials with a low environmental impact. To ensure these goals are met and that all information is clear, all of our products carry the PHD (Health Product Declaration) seal, which shows what ingredients are in the composition, how they affect health, and the potential impact on the environment.  

In addition to this seal, there are other important marks that also guarantee legitimacy and transparency: 

  • GREENGUARD: specific to guarantee air quality; 
  • LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification: aimed at promoting sustainable building practices; 
  • BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method): seal of approval for environmentally friendly buildings. 

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Coverings Eco-Terr Stair Tread with Cove Base

Non-toxic coverings


At Coverings, we work with high quality coatings that are aligned with the ideal of a healthier, preserved and sustainable future. Here are some that are ideal for use in interior construction: 

  • Eco-Terr Slabs: Our eco-friendly collection, available in several color options, is made from recycled cement and is completely free of resins, epoxies and VOC emissions, significantly improving indoor air quality. 
  • Eco-Terr Tiles and Cove Base: Made from the same material as the slabs, these are our prefabricated flooring and skirting, ideal for high-traffic indoor areas and healthcare facilities. Completely free of harmful elements, epoxies are a great choice for residential or commercial projects. 

These are just two products aimed at quality construction and a greener, healthier future. Access our products page and check out other material options.

 

 

 

 

 

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