How To Limit Your Formaldehyde Exposure Inside An RV

June 20, 2018

There are regulations for materials, but as we’ve told you, there are no indoor air emission standards. Meaning the air, you breathe, doesn’t have to meet requirements. What’s a consumer to do, to keep their family healthy while on vacation?

A recreational vehicle is one of the biggest investments you’ll make. RVs have all the comforts of home. Matt Bowers with Wehr Ford in Mountain Grove has two hundred for sale. He says you get what you pay for.

“Underneath this linoleum is real plywood. Not particle board. So, you get less smells and odors from real plywood than you would particle board because of less glues. How about little things like going from 3M tape verses an adhesive to put the back splash on … less glue … less smells,” he said.

Here’s an easy way to determine materials. Check the bed.

“Most of the time under your bed platforms, you are going to find two different things, you are either going to find plywood or OSB or oxboard. If you have the OSB and oxboard that’s going to give off a much stronger smell with all the glues verses your plywood. Right here, all your smelling is actual wood. You’re not smelling actual glue. Same as the bed frame all the way around, no particle wood. Quality cabinetry, it’s going to last.

RV owners need to do their part:

  • Change filters regularly.
  • Buy a max air cover.
  • Before a trip, air it out. Open all windows for several hours.

If you’re tackling a smell problem, do what’s called a cook. Turn the furnace up for 24 hours. Set out ammonia bowls to absorb the smell.

“I would do a lot of research on the background of the company. I would call the company and talk to them. Do you use formaldehyde in any of your components? Do they contain formaldehyde?” said Jennifer Conner, a representative with the Sierra Club, a nation-wide environmental group.

“I would test it for Formaldehyde and I would make that part of my contract before I purchased it,” said Dr. Bryan Finke, with CoxHealth.

The Home Builders Association tells On Your Side Formaldehyde is being phased out of the home construction industry. It’s popular with RVs because it makes products lighter and able to withstand dramatic temperatures.

Still, as we’ve discovered, it’s possible for consumers to reduce their exposure.

Grab a do-it-yourself formaldehyde test kit on Amazon or at Home Air Check.

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