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What Chemicals do I Need to Lookout for When Installing New Flooring In my Home?

FORMALDEHYDE – What Is It, Where Does It Come From, and What Are Its Effects On Air Quality?

According to the National Cancer Institute – (a Division of the National Institutes of Health) – Formaldehyde is a colorless, strong- smelling gas used in making building materials and other household products. It is one of the ingredients used in certain glues, adhesives, and pressed-wood products such as particleboard and plywood. When Formaldehyde is present in the air at levels exceeding 0.1 ppm (i.e. ‘parts per million’), some individuals may experience adverse effects such as watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose and throat; coughing; wheezing; nausea; and skin irritation.  In 1987, The Environmental Protection Agency classified Formaldehyde as a “probable human carcinogen.” Since then, other studies (by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Toxicology Program – an interagency program of the Department of Health and Human Services) have further confirmed Formaldehyde as a known carcinogen. In other words, Formaldehyde is a necessary ingredient used to manufacture many household products (including building materials) but its usage needs to be regulated in order to protect home owners’ air quality.

Beware of those Big Box stores offering ‘Bargain Basement’ Pricing

If you are an Anderson Cooper or a ‘Sixty Minutes’ fan, perhaps you saw the CBS broadcast on March 1, 2015. If so, you would have learned that one of America’s largest and fastest growing retail sellers of hardwood and laminate flooring, Lumber Liquidators, was caught selling Chinese manufactured laminate flooring, that contained dangerously high levels of Formaldehyde – ie., levels that far exceeded those accepted under California’s health and safety standards. It is estimated that in California alone, tens of thousands of households purchased these products – and possibly hundreds of thousands nationwide.

How Can I Protect my Family from This Toxic Gas

Currently, California is the only state that has a ‘Clean Air’ regulatory agency , separate from the Federal EPA. It is called the California Air Resources Board – aka CARB. Until July 27th of this year, CARB maintained the most stringent regulations pertaining to toxic emissions from composite and hardwood flooring materials. In fact, CARB’s regulations to date have required certain flooring products (such as plywood, particleboard and medium density fiberboard) to be labeled as California Phase 2 Compliant as a means of verifying compliance with these regulations.
When you’re purchasing any of these products for your home, be sure to ask your supplier for proof of Carb 2 Compliance.

On July 27, 2017, flooring customers will have an additional source by which to verify that their newly purchased composite wood and other laminated products meet the EPA’s standards. Evidently, there is a twelve month waiting period for vendors, allowing them time to demonstrate compliance through the appropriate labeling of their products.

If you are looking for the best and most customer oriented flooring company in New Jersey, call Floor Town today at 201-261-8848, or fill out our online request form.


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