Are peel and stick wallpapers the best choice for your home? Find out in our article...
Adhesive wallpaper: quick but tricky
People often turn to adhesive wallpaper to decorate the house quickly and without stress. But unfortunately, there are some no minor drawbacks. The most important one? They are toxic... And that's not the end of the story!
Beware of toxic substances
Unfortunately, such decoration is far from healthy. In fact, it contains toxins, starting with a high concentration of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in PVC inks in vinyl. A few examples? Mercury, cadmium, and lead, all of which are harmful to health.
Peel and stick wallpapers: materials
As we have mentioned, self-adhesive wallpaper generally is made from PVC, also known as polyvinyl chloride or polyvinyl chloride. Why this choice? To make the paper durable, protect it and be easy to clean. PVC is the most widely used material. But unfortunately, it is also the most dangerous plastic in existence.
Besides containing toxic substances, it includes plasticizers, phthalates in particular. The latter interferes with the endocrine system and are related to obesity, developmental problems, breast cancer, asthma, and decreased fertility. Various research has been done on this and shown how they can cause cancer.
Peel and stick wallpapers: poisons in the air
In addition, polyvinyl chloride has a high chlorine content, about 57 percent. And it also contains harmful chemical additives such as lead, cadmium, and others. These poisons are released into the air we breathe from wallpaper. Exactly like PVC shower curtains, which release a hundred volatile organic compounds into the air. Some of them can cause liver, respiratory and reproductive central nervous system damage.
To make matters worse, polyvinyl chloride releases toxic dioxins and damages the environment upon disposal, and is poisonous to us.
You have probably heard of the arsenic wallpapers of the Victorian era, which made so many people sick and die. No such inks are used today; they are solvent-based, yet because of this they are not harmless.
According to the Center for Desease Control and Prevention (CDC), organic solvents are carbon-based and can be carcinogenic, endanger reproductive health, and release neurotoxins. These solvents are used in inks for printing, paints, adhesives, glues, dyes, textiles, and so on. Some examples of organic solvents? Benzene, 2-ethoxyethanol, n-hexane and toluene.
So these inks are hazardous to health and the environment. Why? They can leach harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air.
Peel and stick wallpapers: glue
Even what is called the best adhesive wallpaper has a problem: the glue, which is present on the back of the paper. The advantage is that you do not need to buy the glue separately because you can simply place it like a sticker.
But let's come to the sore point: the materials. Glue can be made from cellulose, wheat, clay (including starches), or vinyl, containing synthetic chemicals to bind the vinyl. Vinyl glues contain higher volatile compounds (VOCs) levels than other adhesives.
Wait, there's more: with the promise of not having to pre-treat the wall, many wallpapers contain biocides inside them to prevent fungus and bacteria from proliferating. Unfortunately, biocides are poisonous substances that are anything but healthy for our bodies. They exhibit high toxicity and disrupt the endocrine system, as well as being potentially carcinogenic and damaging to the environment. For that matter, formaldehyde used as a disinfectant in biocides is carcinogenic.
Decorative wallpaper: so which is the best?
The choice, to preserve health, should fall on an eco-friendly wallpaper with the following characteristics:
- Water-based inks
- Without or with a low level of VOCs
- Free of flame retardants (containing harmful chemicals)
Vegan wallpaper: try Wallpapers4Beginners!Our wallpaper is 100% safe. In fact, our entire production process is sustainable, and the final product is disposable and recyclable. All of our themes are printed on real sheets of paper with vegan and water-based inks without using solvents. The prints are odorless and can be used safely at home. Even our glue is non-toxic and vegan, as it is derived from potatoes.
We were inspired by the oldest wallpaper tradition dating back to the 12th century, when Europe began importing rice paper from China. Today, using modern printers and lighter paper, it is once again possible to print wallpaper on real sheets of paper.
Here is the philosophy of Wallpapers 4 Beginners: to promote a production process that cares about its customers' health and the environment's protection with a super easy product for beginners to install.
Now you know why adhesive wallpapers are harmful. If you want to renovate your home with a health-conscious eye, you are spoiled for choice on our website. We offer you many designs for every style, room, and color you desire. Feel free to write us if you have any questions. We are at your disposal!