Emissions of DEHP-free PVC flooring

Emmanuelle Castagnoli*, Peter Backlund, Oskari Talvitie, Tapani Tuomi, Arja Valtanen, Raimo Mikkola, Hanna Hovi, Katri Leino, Jarek Kurnitski, Heidi Salonen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
129 Downloads (Pure)


Degrading 2-ethylhexyl-containing PVC floorings (eg DEHP-PVC floorings) and adhesives emit 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH) in the indoor air. The danger of flooring degradation comes from exposing occupants to harmful phthalates plasticisers (eg DEHP), but not from 2-EH as such. Since the EU banned the use of phthalates in sensitive applications, the market is shifting to use DEHP-free and alternative types of plasticisers in PVC products. However, data on emissions from DEHP-free PVC floorings are scarce. This study aimed at assessing the surface and bulk emissions of two DEHP-free PVC floorings over three years. The floorings were glued on the screed layer of concrete casts at 75%, 85%, and 95% RH. The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were actively sampled using FLEC (surface emissions) and micro-chamber/thermal extractor (µ-CTE, bulk emissions) onto Tenax TA adsorbents and analyzed with TD-GC-MS. 2-EH, C9-alcohols, and total volatile organic compound (TVOC) emissions are reported. Emissions at 75% and 85% RH were similar. As expected, the highest emissions occurred at 95% RH. 2-EH emissions originated from the adhesive. Because the two DEHP-free floorings tested emitted C9-alcohols at all tested RH, it makes the detection of flooring degradation harder, particularly if the adhesive used does not emit 2-EH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)903-912
JournalIndoor Air
Issue number6
Early online date26 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • 2-ethylhexanol
  • C9-alcohol
  • flooring
  • phthalates
  • PVC
  • TVOC


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