Coatings and other chemical treatments used in conjunction with wood flooring products are essential in providing resistance to scratches and other damage while helping to preserve a floor’s surface appearance through years of use. However, organic solvents used in some floor coating products can be harmful to human health and can have a significant environmental impact. Although efforts to regulate the use of these solvents has increased in recent years, especially in paint and paint products, a number of solvent-based floor coatings are still on the market in the U.S. In addition, many so-called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) free floor coating products still contain chemicals of potential concern, placing consumers at risk.
As part of our ongoing research into the safety of chemicals used in industrial, commercial and consumer applications, UL has recently completed a study in which a variety of solvent-based and water-based floor coating products were tested for airborne emissions in simulated indoor environments.
This white paper reviews the results of that testing, discusses the implications of the testing results, and provides recommendations for manufacturers and retailers on how they can assist contractors and consumers in making appropriate decisions regarding floor coating products.