Various forms of ortho-phthalate chemicals have been associated with developmental and reproductive problems—especially in male infants—and linked to liver tumors in animals. So while the plasticizing chemicals may have the positive effect of making vinyl floors bendy, you probably don’t want you child or your pet crawling around on phthalate-laden flooring in your kitchen. Which makes it rather good news that Home Depot has committed to eliminating all phthalate-containing floors from its stores by the end of the year. The DIY giant has reportedly asked around half a dozen suppliers to cease use of the controversial chemicals, explaining to the New York Times, “This change is part of our effort to continually challenge our suppliers to develop new, innovative options for our customers.” The move comes as more designers and consumers seek out non-toxic alternatives for their homes—and with Home Depot leading, hopefully other retailers will follow.
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