Non-phthalate vinyls are PVC products that do not contain phthalate plasticizers, which can be harmful to human and animal health. Phthalate has long been used to make PVC softer and more pliable, but in response to recent studies about its toxicity, American and European manufacturers of vinyl flooring and wallcoverings are eliminating it from their products. It is being replaced with bio-based and petroleum-based plasticizers, alternatives which, according to research by the Healthy Building Network, are less hazardous to human health than phthalates. However, products containing recycled vinyl content will continue to contain phthalates, as will virgin vinyl imported from Asia.
Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health