Are Shipping Container Floors Toxic? And Other Health & Safety FAQs

We’ve manufactured modified shipping containers for over a decade here at Falcon, so we’re often asked health and safety questions about container structures. In this blog, we cover three common questions circling the modified container conversation, to help paint a clearer picture of the safety you can - and should - expect when ordering your own container-based structure.

  1. Are shipping container floors toxic?
  2. Can I trust what was stored in my shipping container prior to its modification will not harm me?
  3. Are shipping containers safe for living and working?

1.)  Are Shipping Container Floors Toxic?


Original shipping container flooring – made either from marine grade plywood or bamboo – contains basileum, tailileum 400, and radaleum, which act as pesticides. Through studies conducted by the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, LLC, these compounds have selective toxicity to insects, not people.

Very large quantities of these compounds must be ingested by humans or other mammals to be harmed by them. Additionally, their vapor pressure is low, which means that the toxins will not readily diffuse into the air.

Removing shipping container floors is not necessary considering the toxic levels are so low. Here at Falcon, we often leave the original floors or place new flooring directly over the existing wood flooring, without sacrificing health safety. Keeping this in mind, you can remain confident that your container floor will not harm you, your coworkers, or your employees.

New call-to-action

2.)  Can I Trust What Was Stored in my Shipping Container Before its Modification Will Not Harm Me?

Can-I-Trust-What-Was-Stored-in-my-Shipping-Container-Prior-to-its-Modification-Will-Not-Harm-MeAll kinds of materials are shipped overseas in shipping containers. In fact, nearly everything imported from another country came via shipping container. Over a shipping container's life, it will likely ship a variety of items. If you’re concerned about what was shipped in a container prior to modifications, you may want to consider purchasing a one-trip container, which minimizes the potential for concern due to the singular trip at sea.

It’s best to ensure you get a quality shipping container by purchasing your container unit from a reliable source, from people who have experience inspecting containers. Here at Falcon, we have established relationships that help us get the right shipping containers for our projects that we take time to inspect on our own.

3.)  Are Shipping Containers Safe for Living and Working?


Shipping container structures continue to grow in popularity, and as they do, reasonable questions arise about the safety of cargo boxes as housing and office space. While it is never safe to live or work in an unmodified container, modifications such as added windows, doors, epoxy-coated flooring, insulation, and climate control transform the boxes into both safe and comfortable spaces.

Modifying shipping containers into structures should be done carefully and in line with structural safety guidelines. Falcon takes safety seriously, adhering to the strict guidelines outlined by the International Code Council and working closely with the Modular Building Institute to implement best practices in our own quality control process.

If you’d like to learn more about modifying shipping containers with Falcon Structures, feel free to give us a call at  877-704-0177 or email us at We’d be happy to discuss your proposed shipping container project in greater detail.

Answers to Common Shipping Container Questions


Get everything from shipping container basics, to detailed how-tos and industry news in our weekly blog. Stay inspired and subscribe!


Choose the Best Windows for a Shipping Container Structure

Choose the Best Windows for a Shipping Container Structure


Understand Shipping Container Design and Its Advantages

Understand Shipping Container Design and Its Advantages


What A General Contractor Should Know Before Building with Shipping Containers

What A General Contractor Should Know Before Building with Shipping Containers