What's in Your Wallpaper?

January 10, 2012

I’ve been thinking about wallpaper lately – toying with the idea of making some changes in my home. I’m not sure if I’ll actually do anything with my ideas, but I like to make informed decisions so I’ve been reading up on wallpapering the eco-friendly way by choosing the wallpaper and the wallpaper paste responsibly.

The good folks at HealthyStuff.org

have some facts about conventional wallpaper that just might freak you out. They tested 2,300 types of wallpaper made by 11 different brands and manufacturers. Here are some of their scary findings.


Ninety-six percent of the wallpapers sampled contained Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), a toxic chemical. A little over half of them had levels of PVC that are concerning.
Other toxins such as Cadmium and Bromated Flame Retardants were found in many of the wallpapers.


Now I know none of you will be licking your wallpaper (your small children might be, though), but these toxins actually slowly release from the paper into the air. So if you sleep in a room that’s been papered with just any old wallpaper, you could be exposing yourself to eight-hours straight of breathing in toxic fumes each night. If that wallpaper has been adhered to your walls with toxic wallpaper paste, it could be even worse. If you are going to wallpaper, do yourself and everyone else in your home a favor and make your own super-easy, eco-friendly wallpaper paste.

While I’ve been educating myself, I’ve bookmarked a few sites that sell eco-friendlier wallpaper. Here are a couple with papers that caught my attention and my imagination.

Green & Brown. You need to see these beautiful papers. Their delicate, subtle patterns are stunning. I could spend a lot of time in a room decorated with the Summer: Green/Yellow Wallpaper

The Wallpaper Collective If you have a funky side, you’ll want to check out these eco-friendly wallpapers. There are some pretty, delicate patterns like Leaves on First Snow, but then there are some bold patterns like Berkshires on Parchment that would add a groovy pop to a room if you papered just one wall and painted the others with complementary colors.

Like I said, I have no idea if I’ll follow through anytime soon with changing up the walls in my home, but it’s fun to plan it out in my mind. If you’ve wallpapered in an eco-friendlier fashion, let me know what you used.






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