The fundamental safety issue with any flooring product relates to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).
Because interior spaces have significantly less ventilation, even small amounts of emissions can accumulate over time, and create an unsafe living space. You may be familiar with the strong smell of oil-based paints, and the “light-headed” feeling that can occur if you inhale the fumes for too long. This is an example of VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, becoming airborne. Too much exposure to VOCs has been shown in multiple mainstream studies to lead to birth defects, learning disabilities in children, and a higher likelihood of cancer.
There are many effective ways to mitigate indoor exposure to VOCs, starting with ensuring proper ventilation (for example, installing a good HVAC system that promotes efficient ventilation and filtration). But the best solution by far is to control the source of VOCs. This is why third-party testing of flooring products, along with other building materials and finishes in your home, is so important. The leading certification to look for is FloorScore.