It’s no irony that some of the healthiest building products installed in a home are also the eco-friendliest products, as well. After all, our bodies are, in essence, mini bio-systems existing within a much greater bio-system, planet earth. If we create products that are harmless to humans we have a very good chance of creating products that are good for the earth. Due to the recent diagnosis of my son as an asthmatic child, I find myself thinking about “green” and “eco-friendly” along the lines of biological reasoning.
Everything we sell at Greenovations (www.seacoastgreenovations.com) is significantly healthier than its conventional counterpart. Some of the products we have chosen were intentionally designed this way (focused on health) such as AFM Safecoat paints, designed for chemically sensitive people. Other manufacturers, such as Eco Timber flooring, addressed the health issues of flooring products (manufacturing without urea formaldehyde) as a part of its mission of sustainability. Right now the product that has my attention is Marmoleum Click from Forbo Flooring.
Marmoleum is the only flooring product certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America as allergy and asthma friendly. This is chiefly due to the anti-static and bacterio-static qualities of Marmoleum. Unlike wood, carpet and other hard surfaces, Marmoleum has a tendency to repel dust (anti-static) from landing on it. Dust, a generally benign particle (or grouping of particles), has a nasty habit of creating a nice environment for dust mites to thrive. Because dust doesn’t settle well on Marmoleum, dust mites and other bacteria fail to prosper in this environment (bacterio-static). And just about any parent of an asthmatic child or a child with allergies can attest that dust mites are a common and potent allergy trigger; and that this trigger can also harmfully contribute to asthma. As I stated at the start of this blog, it’s no irony that some of the healthiest products are also the most eco-friendly.
The high health qualities of Marmoleum are the result of a focus on designing an eco-friendly product. Marmoleum is made from entirely natural, renewable products – nothing synthetic. Not even glue. The top sheet of Marmoleum is a marbleized layer of limestone dust, natural pigments and linseed oil. (Believe it or not, there really once was a natural product known as linoleum, but by the time most of us were born, Linoleum was turned into a petroleum by-product more aptly called vinyl.) This top layer is backed with jute and bonded to a second layer made of wood flour and pine rosin. Finally, the third layer is made of cork, another renewable substance. All of this is bonded together with a substance most of us know for its stickiness, pine rosin, aka distilled pine sap.
Marmoleum click tiles are also designed for a floating installation only, removing one more toxic and consumptive product from entering the built world. All of this makes one healthy, sustainable floor. As the A-Team’s Hannibal would say, “I love it when a plan comes together.”