Occupational Health & Safety/Polyurethane floor (water based)


Hello Jacob. Thank you for answering questions on this site. We recently had to have our floor replaced in our 7 year old son's room. The floor was stained and 3 coats of polyurethane coating was applied. My wife is concerned about VOCs gassing off. The product specifications all relate to when the product will dry and can be walked on. Our question: when should we move out son back to his room? This is a question driven more from a safety point of view as to when the VOCs will dissipate. Thank you!!

Hello Peter.  This is a difficult question to answer based in the huge number of variables, including size of the room, airflow and ventilation rates, temperature and most important, the compounds in the the floor sealer.  In an occupational environment, we could review the MSDS to understand what's in it, then take air samples and have them analyzed for various target toxic compounds.   This can be technically challenging and cost prohibitive for the average home owner.  I recommend contacting the manufacturer of the stain/sealer for their recommendations.  

I hope this helps

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Jacob Schock


Occupational health, risk & exposure assessment, incident investigation. Health effects of chemicals


14 years in occupational health & industrial hygiene

American Industrial Hygiene Association, American Society of Safety Engineers

BS- Health Sciences, MS- Environmental Health

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