Today my guest is Priscilla Bergeron, Communication Manager at Lauzon Exclusive Hardwood Flooring, maker of Pure Genius flooring, the world’s first air-purifying smart hardwood floor. This green-focused company, based in Papineauville, Quebec, Canada, actually owns its own forest, bringing its products from “Forest to Floor.” An avid environmental supporter, Priscilla was closely involved in the launch of Pure Genius. With a degree in Business Administration, Marketing, her experience includes brand and marketing management for a range of consumer products, including coatings and hardware items, always working with brand teams to ensure minimal environmental impact of the products she represents. www.lauzonflooring.com
TOXIC FREE TALK RADIO
The Flooring That Improves Indoor Air Quality
Host: Debra Lynn Dadd
Guest: Priscilla Bergeron
Date of Broadcast: April 08, 2014
DEBRA: Hi, I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. And this is Toxic Free Talk Radio where we talk about how to thrive in a toxic world and live toxic-free.
It is Tuesday, April 8, 2014. We’re here in Clearwater, Florida where we have a thunderstorm this morning. It’s all gray, cold and wet. But that’s fine. It will be spring time tomorrow. The weather changes very, very fast here in Florida.
So today, we’re going to talk about indoor air quality. I just posted something on my site this morning. I’m going to see if I can find it. I forgot to bring it up before I got here. I will find it very quickly, of course, because it’s so easy to navigate around my site.
So what it was about—and it’s not opening in that browser, so we’ll go to another one. Sometimes, browsers don’t refresh the pages, so it’s not that it’s not there.
I’m going to ToxicFreeQA.com to see this story.
Just about a week ago, the World Health Organization released data from 2012 that estimated around 7 million people—7-millon people–died that year as a result of air pollution exposure.
That’s one person in every eight. And as I went and I continued to read the article, I found that they analyzed both outdoor air pollution and indoor air pollution. And this is the World Health Organization. They estimated worldwide in 2012 there were 4.3 million deaths linked to indoor pollution alone.
Now, I have to say that what they were measuring was deaths in households where they were cooking over coal, wood, or biomass stoves. That’s what they were looking at. But could you imagine what the number might be if they included all sources of toxic exposure from all toxic things that might be in homes? I think that the number would be much higher.
But today, we’re talking about, just coincidentally, indoor air pollution because there’s a new product on the market that I’ve never seen before because—well, it didn’t exist before. And what it is is flooring that cleans your air.
Now, always before, if somebody needed to reduce indoor air pollution, I would say to them, “Well, you need to reduce it at the source.” So that would mean that you need to take out those toxic cleaning products and take out those toxic plastics and whatever that you have that are emitting toxic chemicals And then, the second choice would be to get an air filter.
But now, we have another choice, which is you put this flooring on the floor, and the flooring itself improves your indoor air quality.
So today, my guest is Priscilla Bergeron. She’s the communication manager at Lauzon Exclusive Hardwood Flooring.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Hi, Debra.
DEBRA: Did I say that right? Is it Lauzon?
PRISCILLA BERGERON: It’s Lauzon.
DEBRA: Lauzon, of course, with a French accent.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: That’s okay. No problem.
DEBRA: Lauzon. Well, you’ll say it many times, I’m sure.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Yes, probably.
DEBRA: And I’ll say it too. So tell us about this flooring. Just give us a brief description. We’re going to have lots of time to talk about it, but just tell us a little bit about it.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: But first, I would like to thank you for your interest in our new flooring and for the opportunity to be here today and to talk to you…
DEBRA: You’re welcome.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: …and to get my message out to all of your listeners.
So Pure Genius, what it is, is that it’s the world’s first air-purifying, smart hardwood floor. So it’s a technology that is activated by natural and artificial light and by the movement of air.
So, what happens is that the flooring keeps breaking down airborne toxins, and this creates a constant supply of pure air in the home.
In fact, studies have shown that the air in a room installed with Pure Genius is up to 85% cleaner than a space without the flooring.
DEBRA: I think that’s a huge number. And I think I was reading on your website or in the press release that it’s 85%—I think you measured formaldehyde—no. There was another number for formaldehyde. But I think you said, overall, it’s 85% cleaner.
Now, of course, we’re talking about in homes where there are toxic chemicals. So in my home, for example, it wouldn’t be 85% cleaner. But it does have a property to it (which we’ll discuss later. You’ll explain all the technology behind this that tells us how it does that).
But first, I’d like to know how did the company come up with this. What was it? It’s a thing that doesn’t exist before, so how did somebody get the idea that they should make a floor into an air cleaner?
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Just to put you in context because, at Lauzon, […] It’s part of our value system. So our company is all about two things—first, sustainability, and then it’s innovation.
So, we’re always looking for ways to make our flooring more environmentally friendly and more innovative.
So, we’ve been doing this long before it was fashionable in all […] In fact, at Lauzon, we even own our forest, and we focus in best practices in environmental and social responsibility.
So, what happens is that, three years ago, we came across an opportunity with a Swedish firm called [Valinge] and a Danish firm called […] who were doing interesting research […]
So, our R&D department made an association with them to develop what we call now “Pure Genius.”
So, what those two firms were doing is that they were doing some really interesting research to create a […] technology that would purify the indoor air that would work with both natural and artificial light.
So, what our R&D team said is that they worked with them to further develop the technology, and to be able to integrate it in our flooring; and after, we secured the patents.
So we’re really, really so excited to be the first product to use their specific technology in the world.
We launched the product last January. I can say that the market answer has been really positive, but we’re still in the midst of moving it out. It’s now available across Canada and in most US states.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Sorry? Hello? Hello?
DEBRA: Priscilla, can you hear me now?
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Yes, I can hear you.
DEBRA: Good. Let’s go on. I don’t know. Sometimes, we just have technical problems […] So, go ahead with your story.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Sorry, I wasn’t able to hear you. What did you just say?
DEBRA: Can you hear me now?
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Yes.
DEBRA: So, go on and tell us how you got interested in the environment.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Sorry, there is some music.
DEBRA: So, what we’re going to do is we’re going to a commercial break, and then we’re going to figure out this technical problem. We’ll be right back.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. Today, we’re talking about indoor air pollution and how you can solve it with your flooring. My guest today is Priscilla Bergeron from Lauzon Flooring, and that’s L-A-U-Z-O-N “flooring” dot com. Did I do better that time?
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Yes.
DEBRA: Good. So now, tell us your story. How did you get interested in the environment?
PRISCILLA BERGERON: First, I will just put you in context with the Lauzon Company. At Lauzon, green isn’t just the color of our logo, it really is in our DNA. So our company is all about two things—sustainability and…
DEBRA: Wait! All the part that you talked about before, we still have that. We didn’t lose it. So you can just start with your story—your story, personally.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: My story?
DEBRA: Just tell us personally how did you—you, Priscilla–get interested in the environment.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: So, from my point of view, it started long before I started working with Lauzon because I’ve only been with the company for a few months now. But I’ve always been concerned about my health, my environment and everything.
So this is why I tried to eat as good as I can. When I can eat […] organic food, I’ll do it. And I’m always willing to try new recipes and new stuff like that.
I’m also a runner. I run outside and […] during the winter because I’m not living in Florida. So I can say we have a great winter all year long. I live in Quebec, so it’s really cold.
DEBRA: It’s probably really cold there now. Do you still have snow?
PRISCILLA BERGERON: We still have a bit of snow, but it’s really raining out here as well today. But last week, it was still snowing.
DEBRA: Wow! Spring comes slowly the further you are north.
So, tell us about some of the indoor air pollution problems that your flooring solves.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: So, what I’m going to do for that is I have some really, really interesting facts that I can share with you.
First, did you know that every day we take over 20,000 breaths, and that we spend 90% of our time indoor? We spend 14 hours a day at home, and that indoor air we breathe is 5% times more polluted than the outside air. So that’s really interesting, and that’s really scary at the same time.
Many people, they don’t realize the extent to which the air in our homes contains pollutant and toxic contaminants. And when I say contaminants, it includes the formaldehyde you were talking earlier. And it is from furniture, building materials and common household products.
And also, we don’t realize that poor air quality in our homes causes […] bacteria, viruses and mold. And that poor air quality in our home may also lead to allergies […] and even asthma.
And as you mentioned earlier, those studies had even shown that 19% of cancer can be associated to the environment and that poor air quality is one of the first environmental causes of cancer death, and that more and more people are now affected by the Sick Building Syndrome which is how our buildings are now keeping everything inside including harmful contaminants.
So really, personally, if we say that you are what you eat, now, you have to be concerned about what you breathe as well.
DEBRA: Yes, absolutely.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Personally, I was really, really scared about all the statistics that I came across while doing my researches for the launch of Pure Genius. And when I came home after, I threw away all my Frebreze plugins and all those awful products that I had that were full of those harmful contaminants.
My boyfriend was even looking at me really saying, “Wow! Relax…”
DEBRA: I think a lot of people think that. They just go, “Oh, toxic chemicals… yeah, yeah.” But they really do have health effects. And so on the one hand, we have all these toxic chemicals, and on the other hand, we have higher healthcare costs than we’ve ever, ever had.
And I was reading another article (in addition to the one that I talked about earlier about indoor air pollution and the deaths from it), there was another article that I put on my blog yesterday at ToxicFreeQA.com about how people are getting sicker and sicker at younger and younger ages.
People say, “Oh, toxic chemicals, so what?” But all you need to do is look at the statistics and see that people are getting sick. People are getting sick. We didn’t use to have these amounts of toxic chemicals in our homes a hundred years ago. But since the 50’s and 60’s, it’s just been more and more and more.
And so unless you’re doing something to reduce your exposure to indoor air pollution, then you’ve got these toxic chemicals in your house. It’s just there, and people are sick, and healthcare costs are up, so there needs to be some solutions.
So, in addition to formaldehyde, what are some of the other toxic chemicals that might be in your home?
PRISCILLA BERGERON: There is also acetaldehyde and nitrous oxide—and really, the list goes on and on. And all the furnitures and everything […] in your home is also endless.
That’s why the serious part of it is that everything that has it, and everything emits it, so you cannot run from it.
DEBRA: Well, there are a few things that people can do. I have a whole website. Like at DebrasList.com, you can go and find lots and lots of things that aren’t toxic that you can put in your home. But the point here being that you have this new product that will clean the air. And we’ll hear more about it right after the break.
You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. My guest today is Priscilla Bergeron from Lauzon Exclusive Hardwood Flooring. That’s LauzonFlooring.com. And we’ll be right back to hear about this new product.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. And my guest today is Priscilla Bergeron, Communication Manager at Lauzon Exclusive Hardwood Flooring. And they’re the makers of Pure Genius Flooring, which is what we’re talking about today because Pure Genius Flooring actually cleans the air of indoor pollution and cigarette smoke odors and pet urine odors.
So, even if you have a totally non-toxic home, you might want to consider this just for controlling these kinds of odors if those are something that you have a problem with.
Priscilla, explain how your flooring does this. It has a special coating on it, right?
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Yes. In fact, Pure Genius is like having three trees in your home. And what I mean by this is this makes indoor air up to 85% cleaner. So, Pure Genius really is the best solution for a healthier living space.
It works constantly without any loss of performance over time. Like a tree, as I’ve said, Pure Genius breaks down bad molecules, converting them into harmless water and carbon dioxide.
But Pure Genius is infused with a titanium dioxide, which is included in our own titanium finish. The titanium dioxide, it naturally reacts to […] prisms off natural light.
But what makes the Pure Genius’, our Pure Genius’, titanium dioxide so interesting is that it reacts to the prism of natural and also artificial light.
So, the simple movement and basic ventilation are sufficient to ensure adequate air circulation of the VOCs, which allows them to enter in contact with the excited nanoparticles of the Pure Genius floor. That means that the surface of the floor acts as a giant natural filter. As the VOCs come into contact with the Pure Genius floor, they are naturally broken down and converted into harmless water and carbon dioxide molecules.
At the end of the day, it’s a pretty simple concept. All we need is light, normal air circulation and obviously a Pure Genius flooring.
DEBRA: I think that’s pretty amazing.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Thank you.
DEBRA: This is not the first time I’ve heard of this kind of technology where the air going into contact with something—in this case, titanium dioxide, maybe all of them are titanium dioxide. But here you have a toxic chemical, and because it comes in contact with this other substance, when the two come together, there’s a chemical reaction, and then it makes the toxic chemical not there anymore because of that reaction between the two things. It just disintegrates and, as you said, turning it into water and carbon dioxide. So, it’s just like breathing. Pretty amazing!
So, you have this finish, and you have these test results. Are the test results on your website?
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Yes. They are all available on our website. Plus, since at Lauzon, we’re really concerned about everything we release, we are still in the process of doing some new testing, and we’re still investing in it.
So, as the year goes by, and you’ll visit our website at LauzonFlooring.com, you’ll see more and more test results from different external firms appear on our website to back up our technology.
DEBRA: So, you have different kinds of flooring. And this is a high-quality flooring. It’s not something cheap. It’s good quality.
So, when you have different types of wood and different color and things like that, are all of them available with this finish?
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Not all of our flooring are available with the Pure Genius finish, but most of them. Our Designer Collection and our Ambiance Collection, most of our products are available with it. From our Essential Collection, no products are available because it needs to be on our titanium finish which is only available with those two collections.
DEBRA: Maybe you just chose to only have it be limited. Is there a technical reason why it just wouldn’t be available on all of them?
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Because our Essential Collection, it’s not the titanium finish that we use on it. It’s a regular aluminum oxide finish, so it cannot work. The photocatalyctic technology cannot work on this type of finish.
DEBRA: So, I’m assuming it’s clear that it doesn’t affect the finish, the look of the finish at all.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: No. Exactly! So, you can either choose to have our flooring with or without Pure Genius. And if you wanted Pure Genius on it, you can choose between two different glosses. But we also have the new wood flooring series that are only available with Pure Genius which is our Organic series and our Authentic series that we just launched at the same time as the Pure Genius at the beginning of this year.
DEBRA: Well, tell me about those different lines. What makes them unique and individual—different types of wood, different colors, different styles?
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Yes. The Organic is really my favorite. It’s hard maple. It’s a solid hard maple FSC-certified product. It’s made with a breakthrough, a new breakthrough technology that we cannot tell because it’s a secret. But it’s aging the wood really, really fast to give it a perfect imperfect barn wood look.
So, it has a lot of character, and really, it’s aligning beautifully with all the new trends that we can see on the market.
And then you have the Authentic series that is the Wire Brush series. Again, it goes really well with the perfect imperfect look. And if you have pets in the home, if you have a dog, you’re covered because it’s already scratched. So, you’ll have it from light to dark colors, so you choose which scratch you want to fit with your dog.
And plus, it purifies the air. So if your dog smells, your good covered with the scratch and with the odor.
DEBRA: That’s the first time I’ve heard that described like that. Very good!
Let’s see what else. I’m looking at the page on your website about the titanium finish, and let’s see what else we can find out about it.
So it resists cracking. And it doesn’t bend if you drop something on it. It maintains its sheen over time. And it’s say it’s remarkably clear, so that you can see the wood and not the finish.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Yes, but it has a sun shield which is a sun protection that prevents the wood from yellowing which is another Lauzon innovation.
DEBRA: We need to go to break again. So, you’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest today is Priscilla Bergeron, and she’s from Lauzon Flooring. We’re talking about Pure Genius floor that cleans the air. We’ll be right back.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. And today, my guest is Priscilla Bergeron. She’s from Lauzon Exclusive Hardwood Flooring, and they make Pure Genius flooring.
We’ve been talking about how it cleans toxic air pollutants out of the air in your home all by itself 24 hours a day.
All you need to do is walk by it or the breeze through the window, and the movement automatically will do this. I think that’s pretty amazing.
And here’s another thing about it. It’s silent.
Now, I’ve used my fair share of air filters in the past. Nothing against air filters, but they do make noise. And this is absolutely quiet except for the sound of high heels clicking on the wood.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Yes. Another interesting thing is that it doesn’t only clean the air, it also decomposes bacteria and viruses. So it’s double healthier.
DEBRA: It would make it healthier in your family. If somebody has a cold, it would cut down on the transmission of those bacteria and viruses.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Yes.
DEBRA: That is a very important point. So this would be excellent for hospitals, or daycare centers, or schools—any of those places where there are a lot of germs around, and as well as a home.
So you have a very cool thing on your website to help customers choose their floor. I was just playing with it during the break. It’s called the Deco Zone. And if you go to their website, LauzonFlooring.com, L-A-U-Z-O-N, right at the top center, it says “Deco Zone.” And when you go to there, what you do is you can choose a room—this is just fun to play with.
You can choose a room—living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, and then you choose a style. And so you click on the room, then you click on your style, and then it puts furniture for that room in that room.
And then, down the side is all the different flooring that you could choose, and the different styles, the different colors. And as you click on a flooring, it not only shows you a picture of the flooring, a close-up of the flooring, but it shows you that flooring in the context of the room.
And so as you go, you can change around and see what a light-colored floor, or dark, or medium, or different design/style, and it really gives you an idea of what these floors are going to look like.
I think that’s pretty innovative.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Thank you. We’re really proud of this tool. It’s really appreciated by all our customers.
DEBRA: Yes, you can really get a sense. There’s a close-up picture just like you’re looking at it. Great job with that!
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Thank you.
DEBRA: I understand you have a contest.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Yes.
DEBRA: Do you want to tell us about that?
PRISCILLA BERGERON: In fact, to celebrate the launch of the Pure Genius, we’ve decided to throw a contest–and what better subject than to say that we want to give a chance to the customers to win a trip to breathe fresh air away from home.
DEBRA: Good idea.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: We’re giving away a […] gift certificate to the destination of their choice worth $4000.
So, we will give one gift certificate in Canada, and another one in the US.
DEBRA: You can get more information by going to LauzonFlooring.com. Again, that’s L-A-U-Z-O-N. But the important point about this is that it’s for people who actually buy a floor.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Yes. If you buy the floor, you can go online and register to the contest with the floor information you bought. But then you can also register to the contest without buying any flooring by sending us a text about how Pure Genius makes the indoor air cleaner, healthier and everything. And you send that text to us in our office in Lavac.
DEBRA: What’s the text address?
PRISCILLA BERGERON: All the information in order to send that text is available on our website. The address is the 666 St. Martin West in Lavac.
DEBRA: Okay, good. So let’s see. Well, we still have a few minutes left. So I’m looking at your website. Tell us more about your forest that the company owns. You have your own forest.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Yes. We have our own forest. It’s in Quebec, in the Quebec provinces. And we have two million acres of forest that we own, and that we harvest, and that we care for. So really, Lauzon is really from forest floor.
So we own our forest, we take care of it, we cut our trees. And then we take it, and we bring it to our own sawmills, and then in our own plants to put the Pure Genius and the titanium finish on it and everything.
So we control the wood every step of the way that ensures the customers get the highest quality flooring possible from us in a sustainable manner.
We also sell flooring that comes from other types of wood that we cannot grow in Quebec. But all of the flooring that we buy from outside of the Quebec provinces come from really sustainable and really well-managed other companies and other forests because we really are concerned about that.
We also have the FSC certification which means our products, our hard maple products, are FSC-certified. So this is quite something we are proud of at Lauzon.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Yes. Because our product also contributes to get the LEED points for LEED buildings, so we are in the process with an association to make all of this certification process with our flooring easier for architects and designers. That’s really a big advantage with Lauzon.
DEBRA: Another thing, I’m looking at the page that describes here your forest, and a benefit that they talk about is that wood is a natural, renewable resource that does not release toxic air pollutants during the manufacturing process (unlike vinyl, carpet and other flooring materials that are made from petroleum that contributes a lot of toxic hazardous waste into the environment when they’re made).
This is something that I really like, and I think it’s an important point. A hardwood floor is a piece of a wood from a tree. If you cut a tree, and you’ve got wood, and that’s what’s on your floor, it’s a natural material made by nature.
And when you put something else like vinyl flooring, or synthetic carpet or any of those things, all of those are made in factories. They’re made out of crude oil. It creates a lot of pollution in order to even get that crude oil to begin with which then is shipped.
And then there are oil spills.And then you put it in a factory, and it puts hazardous waste into the environment during its manufacture.
And when you’re done with those products, they don’t biodegrade. They just sit in landfills.
And so, in addition to how toxic something is for us when we’re using it, we also need to be thinking about the whole life cycle of where are the toxic chemicals. And this is a product where the toxic chemicals are greatly less, if there’s any at all, than using most flooring products that exists.
So, I think that that’s a really, really important point. It’s not something that affects you while you’re using it, but it’s something that affects the world that is supporting our health.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Yes, truly. I don’t know if you’re aware, but as you know, when trees are growing, it transforms CO2 into oxygen. But when the trees become mature, this process stops. So, if the trees just releases all of what it’s been filtering from all those years, so if we cut it before it completely matures and releases all those toxins, we are helping also the environment and our own health.
So, we’re not only making indoor air cleaner, we’re making outdoor air cleaner by harvesting the forest and everything.
DEBRA: I can see that you’ve put this together, your company has put this together intelligently, thinking about the whole big picture and not just one small part of it.
We’ve only got just about a minute left. So I just want to say thank you for being here with this new product. I think it’s really interesting. And I think that people should go to your website. Again, do you want to give us the website again?
PRISCILLA BERGERON: It’s LauzonFlooring.com. And thank you very much for the opportunity.
DEBRA: You’re welcome, and thanks for being with me today. Sorry about the technical difficulties. And good luck with this. Good luck with this.
PRISCILLA BERGERON: Thank you. Thank you very much.
DEBRA: You’re welcome. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and you can go to ToxicFreeTalkRadio.com to listen to other shows. I’m here Monday through Friday, 12 noon Eastern. And all the shows get recorded, so you can listen to all of them all the way back to the beginning.
It’s almost a year now. I’ve got more than 150 shows. And there’s a lot to listen to. There’s a lot to learn. There’s a lot of interesting people doing a lot of interesting things to make our world less toxic. And this is where you can find out about them—ToxicFreeTalkRadio.com