Blinds are not usually on our radar when we are scanning our home environment for health hazards. However, due to their constant exposure to elements, blinds can be just as dangerous to our family as the usual culprits like fire, cold, and the sun. This is why a lot of thought should go into material selection when you are buying a blind.
Over the years, PVC blinds have made major inroads into the world of window decoration. In the age of quick fashion, homeowners are always on the lookout for inexpensive and durable window treatment solutions that would easily go with the changing looks of their rooms. PVC blinds fit the bill perfectly. Not only they are much cheaper than wooden or aluminum blinds, but they also come with superior heat and moisture resistant qualities. Let look at some of the primary factors driving the rising popularity of PVC blinds.
Why are PVC Blinds So Popular?
PVC blinds are made of synthetic materials, which ensure that they:
• Does not crack even when exposed to direct sunlight for long periods
• Does not get mould or warp even in a high-moisture environment
• Insulates the room to a large extent by trapping the heat in
• Comes in attractive designs that suit a lot of styles
• Are budget-friendly.
What are PVC Blinds Made Of?
With so many plusses, it is no wonder that the market is flooded with PVC blinds. But like all synthetic materials, PVC too comes with some serious disadvantages. PVC is made of plastic, which contains many toxic chemicals.
PVC blinds may contain traces of hydrochloric acid, vinyl chloride, dioxin, lead, mercury, and cadmium. This toxic blend of chemicals is known to contribute to the development of cancer, congenital defects, respiratory distress, and much more. The manufacturing process of PVC also gives rise to toxic by-products that are extremely harmful to our environment.
Are they Safe?
PVC blinds do disintegrate in the sun and heat, but the effects are not visible. Prolonged exposure to heat and light slowly separates the constituent materials in the form of tiny particles which then blend with the air. These tiny particles can be inhaled, and therein lays the problem.
The biggest threat lies in the form of lead contamination. Lead is an extremely poisonous metal that is used in the production of PVC blinds to stabilize the compounds used in the plastic. But this practice leads to some serious side-effects.
With prolonged exposure to sun and heat, the blinds develop a fine sheet of lead dust on its surface. Washing the blinds or wiping the surface does not remove the lead. These tiny particles of lead are easily carried by air into our bodies.
Children under six and pregnant women are most at risk. Children often tend to touch and or put their mouth on blinds, which put them at the risk of ingesting these harmful dust particles. Adults are also at risk of coming in contact with these particles when they operate the blinds. Lead can be passed through breast milk, and also through the reproductive system. Lead can lead to serious health issues and also bring about behavioral and developmental changes.
Impact on the Environment
PVC blinds also cause considerable damage after use. Due to the presence of high toxins, they cannot be recycled. So, each year, millions of PVC blinds end up in the landfills, which in turn contaminate the soil, the groundwater and do irreparable damage to the environment.
What are the Alternatives to PVC blinds?
Maybe it is time to think about alternatives to PVC blinds. The world of window treatments is already undergoing a massive transformation to include more environment friendly alternatives for consumers. Some of the most popular alternatives to PVC blinds are listed below.
Bamboo blinds are hugely popular due to their flexibility of design and durability. Bamboo blinds or natural wooden blinds are a great alternative to PVC blinds as they are made from natural elements. The natural material also makes them great for the environment.
These blinds offer varied design options, ranging from fabric-like shades, to Venetian slats. Depending on the design you select, you will get varied levels of control over the light that seeps through the blinds.
Durability is another factor fuelling its rising popularity. Bamboo blinds exhibit surprising tenacity when exposed to the elements, making it a favorite for outdoor use.
Bamboo blinds also come in attractive price range, with something to fit all budgets. If you are looking for something warm, lovely and safe, bamboo blinds are the ones for you.
Fabric window treatments have been around for a long time. While curtains remain an all-time-favorite with most customers, modern homes have also displayed a preference for Roller Shades, Roman Blinds, Mirage Blinds, Venetian Blinds, and Vertical Blinds.
The most popular among these is Roller shades, mostly due to the great variety in design and textures. Roman blinds are also popular, adding an instant old-world-charm to your house, making it look both comfortable and sophisticated at the same time.
Mirage blinds are the latest sensation. They incorporate the features of a roller shade and a Venetian blind, to give you optimum flexibility in light-control and privacy. During the day, the sheer fabric lets in plenty of light, while the Venetian slats can be adjusted to achieve complete privacy. Venetian blinds and vertical blinds made from fabric slats are also a great alternative to PVC blinds.
Recycled Plastic Blinds
If you wish to have the functionalities of plastic blinds, without the chemical hazard that comes with PVC blinds, you can go for faux wood blinds or blinds that use non-toxic plastics. Make sure that the faux wood blinds you choose are made from wood composite materials, instead of vinyl or PVC. Faux wood blinds are great for high heat and high-humidity environments, like the kitchen or the bathroom.
Make your home environment safe and environment-friendly by selecting non-toxic materials for you blinds. After all, a safe home is a happy home.