LEIPZIG, Germany (dpa) – Expectant or new parents should wait until the baby is about a year old before laying new flooring in their home, a German scientific institute is warning.
Synthetic laminate boards, carpeting and PVC “linoleum” all give off smells.
It’s not just that babies are sometimes laid directly on the floor: they are also at risk while in the cot.
Volatile organic compounds such as styrene and ethylbenzene from new flooring spread through the air of a room, and increase an infant’s risk of developing respiratory problems, the Leipzig-based Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) found in a study.
At particular risk, the UFZ said, are children whose mother or father suffers from asthma, hay fever or other allergies. The findings were based on a survey of 500 German mothers by questionnaire.