Formaldehyde Emissions in Laminate Flooring How Dangerous is It?


Is your home having a negative impact on your health? Is that even possible?

We should all pay close attention to Formaldehyde emissions and the potential for exposure via building materials .  According to the National Cancer Institute, Formaldehyde is a colorless, odorless, flammable, strong-smelling chemical. It is often used in construction and building materials and many household products.

But there’s a darker side to Formaldehyde: some individuals can experience various short-term effects.

In a 1997 report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the chemical is certainly present both indoors and outdoors air at minimal levels. However; when indoors, the materials that have Formaldehyde in them release gases or vapor into the air.

Now, that release of gas or vapor is a worrying cause.

The short-term health effects of formaldehyde are already well known. However, the long-term effects remain a mystery. In the year 1980, for instance, laboratory studies revealed that formaldehyde exposure caused cancer in rats. In fact, the EPA (Environmental protection Agency) classified formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen.

It’s no wonder then that this ‘60 Minutes’ report on formaldehyde emissions in laminate floors has the Sigi family worried.

Upon an investigation on the 1,400 square feet sold by Lumber Liquidators, the report revealed a high level of formaldehyde on the flooring.  The concern relates to the possibility that the family (maybe like many other families) might be breathing in carcinogens over a long period of time.

The concern, however, is something that any home buyer can surmount, if at all.

The National Cancer Institute puts it this way, citing the EPA:

The EPA recommends the use of “exterior-grade” pressed-wood products to limit formaldehyde exposure in the home. These products emit less formaldehyde because they contain phenolresins, not urea resins. (Pressed-wood products include plywood, paneling, particleboard, and fiberboard and are not the same as pressure-treated wood products, which contain chemical preservatives and are intended for outdoor use.)

Before purchasing pressed-wood products, including building materials, cabinetry, and furniture, buyers should ask about the formaldehyde content of these products. Formaldehyde levels in homes can also be reduced by ensuring adequate ventilation, moderate temperatures, and reduced humidity levels through the use of air conditioners and dehumidifiers.

We humans court trouble anyway. The worry that the Sigi family is enduring (and maybe you are too) is an understandable one.

The question is this: what are you doing about it? What steps can you take to make sure luxury and comfort doesn’t make us more prone to health risks?

If you have questions about this or any other home contamination topic, feel free to contact us TODAY!