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Toxic Formaldehyde and Flooring; Are There Any Safe Options?

March 2, 2016

The end of 2015 marked the filing of the first class action lawsuit in the country against Floor & Décor Outlets of America, Inc., for allegedly selling Chinese-made laminate flooring which contained excessive levels of the known carcinogen, formaldehyde. This lawsuit represents residents in five states across the country and alleges that this retailer sold flooring that produced triple the amount of formaldehyde gas emissions than legally permitted.

This lawsuit follows the heels of a March special report aired by “60 Minutes” which found some of the Chinese-made flooring sold by popular flooring retailer Lumber Liquidators had also contained higher-than-allowed levels of formaldehyde. In air quality tests commissioned by “60 Minutes,” 30 of 31 boxes of the Chinese-made laminate flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators and bought in the U.S. emitted as much as 13 times the amount of formaldehyde deemed as permissible.

These statistics are alarming and indicate that flooring retailers across the country are ignoring or unaware of the governmental regulations regarding allowable levels of formaldehyde. Armed with numerous concerns regarding the safety of the flooring currently installed in their residences, homeowners are looking for more information on testing their home’s level of formaldehyde emissions and for safer flooring options available on the market.

If you are looking to test your home air and determine whether or not it tests positively for elevated formaldehyde emissions, a Home Air Check test is an affordable and easy way to obtain this information in a timely manner.

While governmental regulations establish limits regarding what constitutes a toxic level of formaldehyde, the truth is that there really is no safe level of exposure and that you should explore flooring options that do not emit this dangerous carcinogen.

Cork and bamboo are gaining popularity as en eco friendly natural flooring alternative for homeowners. If you like the look and feel of carpeting, you can shop for low-toxicity natural carpets made from woven wool and natural sisals, jutes, and seagrass. Make sure your installer also uses low-toxicity padding and adhesives during installation.

Don’t take the chance of living with flooring that can potentially contaminate your home’s air. Have your home air checked and seek out safer flooring options.