Danger of plasticizers
Plasticizers containing plastics such as PVC are based on phthalic acid esters and can endanger health. Research is still ongoing, but some plasticizers are under suspicion of having a cancerogenic effect on the human organism and of interfering with the hormone balance. Due to their high volatility, they can accumulate in interior spaces and be inhaled. Short-term skin contact can also be dangerous as they can penetrate the skin barrier. Many plasticizer types are already forbidden, but also an overall safety-level is not given for permitted types.
In addition to health aspects, the volatility of plasticizers over time also leads to embrittlement of the materials, which causes a reduction in their strength. One can also speak of an accelerated aging process of the materials. Fabrication and installation, folding processes or other external mechanical or chemical loads can lead to damage to the coating. If the underlying support material contains softeners, these quickly escape into the environment due to the coating damage. This results in local brittleness of the basic fabric, which leads to a reduction of the strength values and thus to an impairment of the operational safety.