Types of Caulk
The toxicity of caulks and sealants varies depending on the type of product. Knowing these types can help you choose safer products. The words “caulk” and “sealant” are sometimes used interchangeably, as both do similar things, but some manufacturers reserve “sealant” for high-performance products.
- Synthetic rubber caulks contain high levels of VOCs.
- Butyl rubber caulks contain high levels of VOCs, and often contain other chemicals that can lead to serious respiratory problems, including asthma.
- Polyurethane caulks can contain carcinogenic ingredients.
- Silicone caulks may contain harmful fungicides, depending on their formulation.
Keep in mind that safer varieties of caulks and adhesives may not be available at your neighborhood hardware store, even though they have a wide selection of products. Stores that specialize in low-VOC home products or online retailers may provide better options.