Non-Toxic Adhesives, Caulks and Sealants

AFM Non-Toxic AdhesiveWhen building, adhesives are often overlooked and considered at the last minute. However, adhesives are often more toxic than the flooring and other products they are made to adhere.

Most adhesives are still based on SB latex, which releases large quantities of toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The volatile solvents are used to emulsify (or liquefy) the resin that acts as the bonding agent.

However, water-based adhesives emit far less VOCs than their conventional solvent based counterparts.

There are also some starch-oil based adhesives on the horizon, such as ZBind which may be on the market soon.

The Environmental Home Center has a good list of water-based sealers, caulks and adhesives.

HealthyHome.Com also has an extensive selection of non-toxic Paints, Stains & Coatings.

A comprehesive list of low VOC adhesives can be found on the Carpet and Rug Institute web site.

Here is our overview of some of the products available:


AFM Sealant

AFM Sealant Line: AFM products are a low odor, non-toxic and water-based.


PhenoSeal “Does It All” vinyl adhesive caulk is an all purpose product. It will bond, caulk, or seal all common building materials, providing a tough-yet-flexible material for different jobs. Does It All is mildew and rust resistant, paintable, non-toxic, and non-flammable. It resists mild acids, alkalis, salt water, oil, gasoline, and many other solvents.


Titebond adhesive

Titebond Construction Adhesive – by Franklin International, is a solvent free construction adhesive (no VOCs) for plywood, paneling, hardboard and wet or frozen lumber.

Timberline 2051 Wood Flooring Adhesive – by Timberline for laminated plank and parquet flooring

Elmer's Carpenter's Glue

Elmer’s Carpenter’s Glue – a low odor, non toxic water based adhesive for porous materials.

100% Pure Silicone Caulk – by DAP/Dow Corning Products can be used as a sub floor adhesive. Specify aquarium grade caulk without additives. Available at many hardware chains including Home Depot, Ace Hardware.


AFM Non-Toxic Adhesive

Safecoat 3 in 1 Adhesive – by AFM is a low odor, non-toxic, water-based adhesive designed for hard composition wall and floor tiles as well as carpeting. (ceramic, parquet, Formica and slate where a typical carpet adhesive would be used.

Auro No. 383 Natural Linoleum Glue – by Auro is suitable for unfinished cork tiles in a thin bed application, but not suitable for floors in humid areas.

BioShield cork adhesive – is a water-based elastic glue made from natural latex, plant oils and resins designed for use with cork and carpets. Can be used on finished concrete wood and plywood.

Dri-Tac – is a water-based low VOC adhesive that claims superior tack. This product is recommended by Dodge-Regopol natural cork flooring manufacturers.


CT-12 by Capitol Adhesives is a solvent-free mastic for installing ceramic wall and floor tiles.


Almighty Adhesive – by AFM is low odor, non-toxic, water based adhesive for gluing wood and wood laminates

Auro No. 385 Natural Carpet Glue – by Auro

BioShield cork adhesive – is a water-based elastic glue made from natural latex, plant oils and resins designed for use with cork and carpets. Can be used with sisal, coco, wool and jute backings.

Hendricksen Naturlich Manufacturer’s Adhesive

Envirotec Health Guard Adhesive #2027, 2045, 2054, 2055, 2060, 2070, 2080

Envirotec Health Guard seaming tapes #3070, 3080, 3090, 3093, 3094

Alternatives to utilizing adhesives with carpeting include, 3M’s Tac Fast system using a loop fabric on the carpet back that engages with hook tape applied to the floor surface (like Velcro). This system eliminates the IAQ issues involved with liquid adhesives. Another mechanical application method is tacking down carpeting on tack strips eliminating the need for large quantities of adhesives.


AFM makes a Caulking Compound as part of the “SafeCoat” line which is a non-toxic, water-based, elastic emulsion type caulking compound designed to replace oil caulk and putty. It will not dry out or crack and does not release any solvents or obnoxious odors. SafeCoat caulking compound provides a water resistant, flexible, easy to install, non-sag sealant with excellent initial and permanent adhesion. This caulking compound has properties, which enable the application to be made without stringiness, and yet maintains flexibility and toughness. It mat be applied to a variety of substrates and has high durability. High resin content affords maximum bond strength.

Another caulking option is 100% silicone caulk, or aquarium grade caulk. These caulks are available in either clear or white and can be found at most hardware stores.

Comments 17

  1. bryce

    hi, will this nontoxic flooring glue work for used parquet that i want to lay. my floor is a plywood and the parquet, though in good shape, have no tounge and grove?

  2. JoAnn

    I need to seal a crock drinking water container, what would be safe to use?
    I don’t want any after taste in the water.

  3. adam caveney

    as a table tennis player a vulcanising solution used to be used to affix the rubbers to the wooden blade/ paddle of your table tennis bat this provided an extra element of speed to your shots due to the reaction of the glue with the rubber. This has recently been banned due to the solvent base of these glues I was wondering if there is a non-solvent based vulcanising solution out there or something equivelant that would give me the required effect.

  4. Laura

    I am constructing a found object mosaic with a group of elementary school students. The piece will be installed outdoors on the side of a building. I am looking for a non toxic adhesive that is suitable for outdoor use and can adhere wood, metal, natural objects such as straw and grass, and plastic to masonite panels. Also, any ideas about how to seal the piece once it is done?

  5. jim adams

    what is a caulk or sealant that can be used to seal a pipe at the bottom of a cistern … we can install it in air and keep it dry until it sets.
    thanks, jim

  6. Ken Cusack

    Hi, I wish to lay an old parquet floor that still has bitumen adhesive on the back of the bricks. Can I use the 3 in 1 safecoat onto the old bitumen and glue the bricks to the floor? Rhanking you, Ken

    1. Ken

      Hi again, I managed to get the bitumen from the parquet tiles by using a bench saw and just ‘cut’ off the bitumen. What adhesive do I use to stick the parquet to cement floor? anynody know?
      Ta ken

  7. Dale Richardson

    For any one looking for a non-toxic, solvent free fast setting adhesive for use on all construction applications , I suggest you use MEAN GREEN construction adhesive.

  8. Richard

    I have eroneously used the commercial DAP silicone sealant to patch two pond linings together. I now found out that it is toxic to the fish. Is there anything I can do to neutralize the toxic substance released by the silicone sealant?

  9. Jack

    Hi, I’m trying to figure out the b est wat to put up cedar planks in a closet. I think nails could work themselves loose. So I’m considering double sised tape or some sort of adhesive. I’ve read that the oils in cedar break down adhesives and i don’t want to use a stinky toxic adhesive in a closet either. Any advice or product that would be effective and not choke everything within 10 miles? Thank you, Jack

  10. lynn

    My mother has an old satalite dish that she wants to convert into a small fish pond. Can you please advise us as to what to paint it with

  11. prasert

    we looking for glue ,or Latex, or Silicone,for coat on filter cloth , food grade, filter matterial 10% alcohol

  12. van Nieuwenhove

    Dear Sirs,

    We are looking for a glue which can glue fine plastic pearls on a plasti sheet. The glue should be non-toxic and water resistant.
    The intention is to use our product in aquaculture industries so it is important that the glue is not toxic for fish and that the glue doesn’t desolve in water.
    Can you give us some ideas?

    Luk Van Nieuwenhove
    Regional Manager INVE ASIA

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