Safe Marble Sealer Ingredients for Children and Pets
Choosing a marble sealer can be difficult because marble is an unusually porous type of stone that can stain and etch easily. Furthermore, many marble specific sealers contain toxic chemicals that make them unsafe for use in areas where there are children or pets present. While any marble sealer, if swallowed, can be dangerous and should be followed by a trip to the emergency room or a call to poison control, there are some sealers out there that are safer to use around young kids and animals. Here are a few things to look for.
Many toxic sealers contain petroleum distillates, which are both flammable and toxic. These chemicals put out volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) at a rate of around 762 grams per liter (100 grams per liter is considered low). VOC’s are linked to many chronic illnesses and, more disturbingly, to respiratory, immune and allergy problems in infants and children. For a less toxic sealer, look for one that is based on a potassium siliconate solution. Not only are these types of sealers non-flammable, they emit 0 grams per liter of VOC’s.
Formaldehyde is a poisonous chemical used in all kinds of construction materials, including adhesives and sealers. It does not even have to ingested to be harmful, simply breathing the vapors it gives off can be harmful to the nose and eyes. Look for sealants that are formaldehyde free. Non-toxic natural stone cleaners will usually specify right on the label that they do not contain this chemical.