Friday, November 6, 2009

Hypo-Allergenic and Flooring

What Does Hypo-Allergenic Mean Exactly?

When something is hypo-allergenic it simply means that the product is manufactured with as few ingredients as possible — and it doesn’t cause reactions in most people who may suffer from various forms of allergies. In the industrial environment we live in today, many people develop allergies to a multitude of things. They can be allergies to chemicals used in the manufacture of flooring. They can be emissions put into the air by vehicles and machinery. People can be allergic to things they touch or put on

Green Flooring

Green Flooring

their bodies, or even wear. Even plant materials in their natural form can cause some reactions in certain people. Merely brushing up against live or fresh stalks of bamboo can cause a rash and blisters. Sealing this type of product with another natural substance will usually solve that problem. Something that is hypo-allergenic is usually organic or natural, because the simpler and with the least amount of ingredients a product has, there is less chance that someone will react to chemicals in it. Bamboo flooring and hardwood flooring and even textile products such as area rugs and upholstery, can be made with fewer chemicals and less VOCs (volatile organic compounds). These VOCs can be a major cause of allergic reactions in people and an example would be paint that makes you sneeze of even older laminate flooring that makes you itch or cough. A lot of plastic wrap gives off chemical odors when you unwrap certain items. And, formaldehyde used in the manufacture of laminate and other products is a big trigger in sensitive people. Manufacturers are becoming far more aware of these triggers and will often label their products as hypo-allergenic.

Do You Have Allergies?

If you sneeze when you walk down the detergent aisle in a supermarket, or after following someone who is wearing perfume, or if you sneeze when there’s a lot of dust blowing around, then you are allergic to airborne particles. If you eat certain things (perhaps you are allergic to gluten — mostly in wheat products) or other foods like milk or berries or peanuts or shrimp, then those items may cause a rash or cough. Other things that can cause reactions are chemicals in unwashed clothing fabric or textile area rugs or upholstery, or formaldehyde or other chemicals used in the manufacture of some types of flooring. All of these reactions can be controlled by washing or avoidance or in the case of flooring products, looking at the labels and buying those that will be hypo-allergenic for you, personally.

Products That Are Hypo-Allergenic

Many products are made with the eye to help people who are sensitive to some substances. This benefits the consumer, and the aware manufacturer as that person will be grateful that there are many alternatives. Also, if you want to use laminate flooring to make yourself a spiffy new area in the family room, for instance, then unpack the planks (wear a light facemask if you are very allergic) and after disposing of the packing material, let the planks air out where a breeze can blow over them. Avoid moisture. It will help to buy laminates that are marked hypo-allergenic or “green” and that will give you a big head start.

This article was taken directly from Flooring Now ( Also, visit our site at and

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