Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Plastic Hotel


We checked into a hotel the other night, and the front desk clerk cheerily informed us that our room had just been renovated!  We were a little apprehensive, knowing how toxic building materials can be, but we figured we'd give it a try.

Stepping off the elevator, we found ourselves in a highly toxic soup.

The entire floor had recently been covered with a heavy-duty synthetic (plastic) commercial carpet, cemented to the floor with a toxic adhesive. The combination was enough to make your eyes water and your throat hurt.

The room itself was no better, with a new vinyl (plastic) floor, vinyl (plastic) wall covering, and wood-grain plastic furniture. We both felt dizzy from all the fumes.

Fortunately, not all the floors had been renovated, and we were eventually given a room on an "old fashioned" floor. But the experience made us think: how many people would just put up with the smell, and never associate their headache or nausea or dizziness with those toxic chemical exposures?

Hotels have a responsibility for the welfare of their guests, and should make certain that renovated areas are fully ventilated to allow toxic products to outgas before guests are booked in.

Plastic may make our life cheaper and in some cases, easier, but its impact on our health and our environment is significant.  

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