Most articles reporting on the study note that the chemicals are known to cause asthma and allergies. There are many other associated problems, however, as a 2009 report suggests. A team of
and Swedish researchers found that children who lived in homes with vinyl
floors were twice as likely to be diagnosed with autism. One of the study's
authors noted that the correlation "turned up virtually by
accident." Although the list of
known negative health effects associated with vinyl compounds and other
chemicals is large, there are undoubtedly many, many more connections between
chemical exposures and health waiting to be accidentally discovered. U.S.
Vinyl isn't the only unwise flooring choice. Carpet, in particular, can have many problems of its own. One examination of flooring options, however, notes that vinyl flooring (and vinyl-coated wallpaper) were found to be seven times more likely to contain hazardous additives than other "non-plastic" flooring examined. Safer flooring choices include ceramic and stone tile, real linoleum, cork, hardwood and bamboo.
When building or remodeling, every product choice has an impact on the people who enter the building. An attempt to save money at the time of installation can have huge costs later. Let's value the health of people who enter our churches and homes enough to take the issue seriously.