Typical long and short-term exposure symptoms for higher levels of VOCs in the air from your new flooring, paint, and other factors include nausea, dizziness, asthma, irritation, cancer, liver diseases, nervous disorders, kidney damage, headaches, and worse. These were also respiratory system cancers such as lung, nose, throat and oral cancers. Hopefully other industries that utilize formaldehyde will be encouraged to reduce their use of this volatile product. They found seven studies on asthma in children to analyze. These studies equated to a 17 percent increased risk of asthma due to formaldehyde exposure, using a random effects model. The announcement concluded with a simple statement: “Our recommendations will likely remain the same –we strongly stress taking steps to reduce exposures, which should alleviate respiratory and eye, nose and throat irritation. Corinne Segura | My Chemical-Free House Consulting, How “High Performance” can Help Prevent Mold, Traveling with Health Issues & Sensitivities, The Locations Effect – Canadian Locations, Interview: Healing MCS with Mold Avoidance. Sorry. Toxicol Pathol. Bernstein RS, Stayner LT, Elliott LJ, Kimbrough R, Falk H, Blade L. Inhalation exposure to formaldehyde: an overview of its toxicology, epidemiology, monitoring, and control. But this must be considered within context. 2011 Jul;30(7):725-35. The warm luster of laminate wood flooring can give your home or office an inviting and natural look. Floating floor is not a type of flooring. Most polyurethanes are oil based and contain solvents that off-gas for weeks or longer. The ATSDR part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides information on toxic substances and provides a registry of toxins. The asthma research mentioned above illustrated that exposures of 10 milligrams per meter-squared were linked with asthma. The data is assuming ambient household air in a house floored with formaldehyde laminate. This article discusses possible steps to remove formaldehyde gas and formaldehyde gas emitting laminated floor or other outgassing products in order to improve indoor air quality in homes. Solid hardwood uses no adhesives, and if you purchase pre-finished, the process removes all VOCs before it is shipped. Win-Shwe TT, Fujimaki H, Arashidani K, Kunugita N. Indoor volatile organic compounds and chemical sensitivity reactions. As they reviewed the animal research, the scientists found that formaldehyde produced reproductive problems, often among males that included damage to chromosomes and DNA. Although oil-based finishes can off-gas for years, it’s most severe during the first few days after application. We hope you will consider supporting this website and helping to preserve the knowledge of natural therapeutics for future generations. For how long does laminate flooring give off gas (off-gas)? Individual planks, boards, andin rare casestiles attach to each other, not to the subfloor. Does laminate flooring off-gas when heated? According to this CDC report, it takes about two years to stabilize. All these typically contain a VOC such as formaldehyde. There are many other carcinogens in our environment. Formaldehyde is used as a preservative and sterilizing agent for numerous goods. • Particleboard has a maximum emission allowance of 0.09 ppm • Medium-density fiberboard has a maximum emission allowance of 0.11 ppm • Thin medium-density fiberboard has a maximum emission allowance of 0.13 ppm. This includes formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds. This means many cabinets and other wood furnishings in the house can be off-gassing formaldehyde in addition to laminates. The floorboard samples provided by CPSC were analyzed between six months and three years after the manufacture date. 2010;203:105-18. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4419-1352-4_3. The Air Resources Board said samples of laminate flooring its inspectors took between September 2013 and May 2015 exceeded safe levels of formaldehyde even … 2012 Mar;17(3):809. As a general rule, most of the VOC off-gassing occurs in flooring that uses adhesives. Most agencies have concluded that different types of irritation issues can result, along with respiratory system cancers. This is rather low in terms of absolute risk. Part II. In recent years, another type of cancer linked with formaldehyde exposure is leukemia. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Phthalates can off-gas from building materials for years after installation. These recent announcements have put the laminate flooring industry on notice. Here are the EPA’s emission standards that exist today in the United States: • Hardwood plywood has a maximum emission allowance of 0.05 parts per million. This allowed the researchers to estimate whether the amount of formaldehyde in the air was enough to produce asthma, COPD and other respiratory issues. Peter Pawlowski | Posted in Green Products and Materials on February 8, 2018 03:48am I have a client that was assured by the flooring supplier that the laminate floor they sold them was okay to install over heated surface. Reproductive and developmental toxicity of formaldehyde: More on tests used to investigate Lumber Liquidators. The CDC also discussed that formaldehyde in laminates can produce irritation in the eyes, the nose and the throat: “Exposure to the lowest modeled levels of formaldehyde could result in eye, nose, and throat irritation for anyone”. For example, if a product’s label instructs you to wear a mask or to use it in a well-ventilated area, do so. In terms of mechanisms, recent research has found that formaldehyde alters the miRNA of human respiratory mucosal cells. But later, many developed cancers. Higher temperatures and higher humidity may expedite this process. Not medical advice: See your doctor for that. The previous calculation on the cancer-causing nature of airborne formaldehyde was 2-9 cases per 100,000 people. They also found that abnormal pregnancies increased by 54 percent for formaldehyde-exposed women. Those with peak exposures had more than five times the rates of Hodgkin leukemia. This included a study of more than 25,000 workers in plants that had higher airborne levels of formaldehyde. Long-term Health Effects. 2015 Jul;57(7):785-94. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000466. The indoor dimensions of a typical house were used to calculate the amount of formaldehyde released. Feb. 18, 2016. Because of their durability, vinyl flooring can last 2-3 times as long as similar resilient flooring products. Wish it was. Erratum in: Cien Saude Colet. But, according to recent press reports, some laminates imported from China produce potentially hazardous emissions of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. You know the ones that were featured on a … These include occupational studies where formaldehyde levels were extremely high, along with animal studies and large population studies. Can laminate flooring make you sick? Expected Lifespan. Formaldehyde carcinogenicity research: 30 years and counting for mode of action, epidemiology, and cancer risk assessment. Formaldehyde is an ever-present, colorless gas that can give off a pickle-like smell. These levels are considered at low risk, according to the research. Mice and rat research has found that formaldehyde exposure produces skin allergic reactions along with reactivity in the airways. Accessed Feb. 22, 2016. Thousands of consumers are perplexed about with to do with their Lumber Liquidators laminate floors. Dear Carl, This is a challenging question, because it is hard to find point sources of formaldehyde.. My understanding is that laminate wood products off-gas for about 10 years. 2003 Jan-Feb;6(1):85-114. Many developed squamous cell carcinomas of the nasal cavity, for example. Our site is completely funded by purchases of our educational materials – books and webinars. Besides the various issues related to respiratory irritation – which includes asthma, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), allergies and other related conditions – we can add issues related to reproduction. Is laminate the only source of formaldehyde? Here is their statement about respiratory issues: “Exposure to the range of modeled levels of formaldehyde in indoor air could cause increased symptoms and other respiratory issues for people with asthma and COPD [Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease]”. A study from the School of Medicine at the University of California at San Diego and Johns Hopkins studied formaldehyde exposure among 25,619 formaldehyde workers. Arts JH, Rennen MA, de Heer C. Inhaled formaldehyde: evaluation of sensory irritation in relation to carcinogenicity. Besides these effects, formaldehyde has been shown to disrupt our body’s superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities. Mutat Res. And yes, after 30-40 years of off-gassing, the formaldehyde concentrations in these floors will be much lower. The research was based on “real life” studies in Germany, not chamber tests. New laminates have much less formaldehyde than they used to – yes. EPA/600/x-85/362. More on tests used to investigate Lumber Liquidators. Decades ago, 3 parts per million of airborne formaldehyde was considered the maximum safe level. They may attach with glue or by snapping together. This means a heightened level of toxins, as these enzymes help the body remove toxins from the blood and lymphatic system. The authors found a return to “normal” VOC levels after 2-3 months. Because of the very conservative (health protective) nature of the models used in this analysis, the calculated risk is likely lower than our modeled estimate.”. Human research confirmed the links between formaldehyde and these types of cancers. These levels equate to airborne levels that are below 0.1 milligrams per cubic meter. 1984 Nov;45(11):778-85. And car exhaust also produces formaldehyde. Formaldehyde Exposure and Mortality Risks From Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Other Lymphohematopoietic Malignancies in the US National Cancer Institute Cohort Study of Workers in Formaldehyde Industries. Formaldehyde toxicity. But it is the new laminates that we should be wary of. Reproductive and developmental effects of formaldehyde, Neurological effects of formaldehyde exposure. Accessed Feb. 22, 2016. Formaldehyde Off-Gassing from Laminate Flooring I was delighted to present a 2 hour short course to the Home Inspectors of TN (HITA) in Nashville, this past Saturday Morning (8/1/2015). By “range” the announcement is discussing all levels, from the lowest to the highest air levels of formaldehyde given different household dimensions and different laminates. Clin Dev Immunol. Checkoway H, Dell LD, Boffetta P, Gallagher AE, Crawford L, Lees PS, Mundt KA. According to the CDC (Centre For Diseases Control and Prevention) and ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry), exposure to formaldehyde could cause eyes, nose and throat problems. Labor is an additional $3 to $7 / sq ft, Kahrs Engineered – Materials $5 – 12 / sq ft, labor $3 – 10 / sq ft, Home Depot Brands engineered wood start at $3 / sq ft for materials, Marmoleum – Materials $4.50 – 5 / sq ft, labour $1 – 4 / sq ft, Wool Carpet J Mish $4 – $8, Earthweave $6, Nature’s Carpet $7 / sq ft, Cali bamboo – under $3.30-5 / sq ft, labour about $3-4 / sq ft for click, Home Decorators Collection $1.30-2 / sq ft, labour $3-4 / sq ft, Cork $8-10 / sq ft including installation. Smoking is also a source of formaldehyde. Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry. Formaldehyde is normally present at low levels, usually less than 0.03 parts per million (ppm), in both outdoor and indoor air. Phthalates are linked to birth defects and can disrupt hormones. In early studies on formaldehyde, researchers found that mice and rats exposed to formaldehyde initially had respiratory and mucosal membrane effects. How to correct outgassing of ormaldehyde from laminate flooring products: Five steps to correct unacceptable levels of formaldehyde gas traced to laminate flooring or similar floor covering products. Follow manufacturer’s directions. Goldstein BD. If we were to combine the various carcinogens in our environment, formaldehyde would increase our risk. 60 Minutes. This can go on for years depending on the level of VOCs in the product. S Afr Med J. Learn More About The EnviroKlenz Air System Vinyl flooring health risks If you have laminate flooring, know that things have improved since the 1980s when laminates were chock full of formaldehyde. Since formaldehyde emissions decrease over time, formaldehyde emissions from the CPSC- tested floorboards were likely higher when they were first manufactured. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. Gas furnaces and wood burning stoves can also increase formaldehyde levels. Okay, so let’s compare these levels with regulated emissions from laminate flooring. Volume 89. A: I’m having trouble making sense of this. Studies of workers who breathe in very high levels of formaldehyde over many years have shown a link to rare cancers. Learn about long-term and safe cleansing: Centers for Disease Control. 2013 Feb;41(2):181-9. doi: 10.1177/0192623312466459. There are some newer non-toxic polyurethanes on the market such as AFM Safecoat Polyureseal BP which do not contain solvents and do not off-gas. Duong A, Steinmaus C, McHale CM, Vaughan CP, Zhang L. Reproductive and developmental toxicity of formaldehyde: a systematic review. Environmental Criteria and Assessment Office, Office of Health and Environmental Assessment, 1988. The CDC, together with other government agencies throughout the world have reviewed the evidence of respiratory issues and formaldehyde. A core layer of pressed wood is sandwiched between a bottom balancing layer fiberboard and a pattern layer. The data suggests it takes about two years for formaldehyde to off-gas down to levels of the average home. Other research has linked formaldehyde to menstrual conditions among female formaldehyde workers. J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev. VOC’s react with nitrogen oxides their slow drying results in long duration of off-gassing due to VOC (see 5.1). 2011 Nov-Dec;728(3):118-38. doi: 10.1016/j.mrrev.2011.07.003. The time it takes for vinyl to outgas differs on a number of factors and can range from a few days to several weeks. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, formaldehyde is often at levels inside of 0.03 parts per million in indoor air. How Laminate Flooring Is Made. Formaldehyde in Clothing Linked to Dermatitis and Cancer, GMO Soy Accumulates Carcinogen Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde in Schools Linked to Childhood Allergies and Asthma. A 1988 EPA study found that formaldehyde levels among homes in the U.S. ranged from 0.10 parts per million to 3.68 ppm. And yes, after 30-40 years of off-gassing, the formaldehyde concentrations in these floors will be much lower. For example, in 2011, researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham conducted a meta-analysis of studies that connected asthma in children with typical household or school exposure to airborne formaldehyde. As we mentioned, once flooring is installed, it goes through a process called off-gassing in which chemicals are released into the air. This statement is qualified by “exposure to the lowest modeled levels.” Again, the same sampling of a typical household was used. Hematological and toxicological evaluation of formaldehyde. This comes from the chemicals used in tobacco and the paper. Are these the only issues formaldehyde can cause? The most common form of VOC found in new flooring is formaldehyde. The average lifespan for laminate flooring is between 15 and 25 years, but it can vary from as short as 10 years to as long as 30 years. This is given the amount of formaldehyde that has been found to off-gas from some laminate test results. Turkish researchers investigating the potential of neurological and behavioral effects of formaldehyde added some particulars: “Of particular concern to the authors are anatomists and medical students, who can be highly exposed to formaldehyde vapor during dissection sessions. I would add again that they studied the histories of more than 25,000 people. This pattern layer is basically a thin printed sheet with images that appear to be natural wood. Together, the information has provided a staggering amount of evidence illustrating that formaldehyde exposure can cause issues in the lungs, sinuses and oral cavity. Vinyl floors last a long time (especially durable vinyl floors with thick wear-layers). This reactivity – sensitivity syndrome illustrated that formaldehyde affects the mucosal membranes of the lungs, airways and skin. This means the new announcement found the potential to cause cancer was three times greater than previously announced. But as levels become higher, problems become more likely. Chang JR, Xu DQ. Use the 2-3 month timeframe only as a guide, as my experience in the tight home with strong sources indicates it can take much longer. Recently, the State of California became the first (and to date only) state to enact legislation limiting the off gas emission of formaldehyde and other harmful gases in laminate and engineered wood flooring products, moldings, plywood underlayment, and … And just how bad is formaldehyde exposure in general? 2006 Mar;44(2):144-60. The fewer adhesive layers a flooring product has, the less likely it is to contain VOCs. This said, in testing conducted by 60 minutes in 2015, 30 of 31 cartons of laminate purchased in the U.S. had greater levels than this. They found that increased formaldehyde increased the risk of spontaneous abortion by 76 percent. The phrase, “range of modeled levels” means the scientists created a sample of exposure, based on a house with laminate flooring. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! A few recent studies from Japan have found that chronic exposure to formaldehyde is linked to neurological damage in mice. Rev Environ Contam Toxicol. The same for furniture, rugs, carpets and fabrics. 2013;2013:623812. doi: 10.1155/2013/623812. There are also eco-friendly carnauba and bees waxes that work well and are easier to apply but do require regular maintenance. The next statement is the one that has created the biggest stir, though this appears a bit out of proportion given the other risks. Here is what Lumber Liquidators says about the 60-minutes Chinese-made laminate flooring off-gassing test: However, higher temperatures and higher humidity may expedite the process, reducing the time taken to off-gas formaldehyde. Laminate flooring can be toxic if the wood-bonding adhesive and top layer contain and emit harsh chemicals like formaldehyde. Pressed wood in general is a typical source of formaldehyde as it is present in the resin that locks together the wood fibers into the final sheets of wood. These are based upon an accumulation of information from various studies. Most vinyl flooring contains multiple harmful chemicals, including the same phthalates that have been banned from children’s toys. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. According to the most recent U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration data safety sheet, more than 0.5 parts per million of formaldehyde is considered “actionable.” In other words, dangerous. While a few studies found no such link, in 2012, the International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded the evidence was enough to announce: “Formaldehyde causes cancer of the nasopharynx”. Environmental Chapter 5 – Guidelines For Purchasing … Linoleum flooring, insulation and even in water mains.gas fumes, the “smell” of new synthetic carpet etc. Just how bad is it? Times have changed. Indoor volatile organic compounds and chemical sensitivity reactions. about 10 years. Formaldehyde emissions from laminate flooring decrease over time. Once installed, vinyl may off-gas potentially harmful compounds (including lead, cadmium and phthalate plasticizers) for years. The statistics calculated above – of 6-30 cases per 100,000 – equate to a 0.03 percent risk assuming 30 per 100,000. New laminates have much less formaldehyde than they used to – yes. A safer, greener alternative is water-based products. Additionally, be aware that many older vinyl floors contain asbestos. 1989. We all wish. Laminate Flooring Test Results – Health Issues and Solutions. I am not that familiar with P****, but it might be that the core itself is off-gassing, much like bamboo floors, with their multiple strips are often glued with a formaldehyde adhesive and will off-gas. This produces what we might call an accumulation of carcinogens. Keep the humidity below 45 percent to help limit these emissions. VOCs. Choose linseed, Tung, and other natural oils. March 4, 2015. In reality, the off-gassing should be the strongest during the first two weeks and continue to off-gas for up to months after it is placed into your home. According to the Consumer Product and Safety Commission, formaldehyde is a colorless reactive gas used in many consumer products including hair and fingernail products, flooring and furniture.Acute exposure to formaldehyde can cause coughing, wheezing, and asthma-like symptoms, says Dr. Genevieve Brauning, a family practitioner with Novant Health in Charlotte, North Carolina. These sensitivity effects were found in mice and rats to eventually produce respiratory cancers. Inhaled formaldehyde: exposure estimation, hazard characterization, and exposure-response analysis. He has authored 27 books and numerous articles on print and online magazines. Many chemicals off-gas at greater rates in higher temperatures and humidity. Because their off-gassing will be greater when the laminate is new. The adhesive, if any was used, would be long dry by now. Sixty home inspectors signed up and the room was packed as usually. Engineered flooring can have similar issues. Laminate flooring is manufactured by pressing together four layers of materials. Review of acute and chronic effects on health. Accessed Feb. 22, 2016. The same for furniture, rugs, carpets and fabrics. This study found that those workers with cumulative exposure to formaldehyde over the years had 3.76 times the Hodgkin leukemia. These steps should also reduce the cancer risk.”. Formaldehyde and Your Health. The CDC didn’t say what ceiling height they used in the initial report, but it must have been very high. VOC off-gassing is most acute during application and the drying of hardwood floor finishes. These include furniture, rugs and carpets, paints, caulks, household insulation materials, fiberboard, particleboard, chipboard and plywood, various types of fabrics and even some paper products. The release comes with cooperation between the CDC and the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). McGwin G Jr, Lienert J, Kennedy JI Jr. Formaldehyde exposure and asthma in children: a systematic review. Because their off-gassing will be greater when the laminate is new. World Floor Covering Association. This statement discussed the cancer-causing nature of the airborne formaldehyde released by laminate flooring: “The estimated risk of cancer is 6-30 cases per 100,000 people. Formaldehyde is toxic when it comes to your overall health, so you have to be aware if your laminate toxic flooring levels are high. Formaldehyde is toxic over a range of doses; chances of exposure and subsequent harmful effects are increased as (room) temperature increases, because of formaldehyde’s volatility.”. This website contains no third-party ads, no sponsored articles, no irritating pop-ups, and no automatically running videos. On February 18, 2016, a release from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that formaldehyde exposure from certain types of laminate flooring is more problematic than previously thought. Most laminate products off-gas for about 10 years but some brands have a very low level of the toxic gas that is considered safe for flooring. Cien Saude Colet. How long does laminate flooring off gas? The studies have linked low-dose volatile gas chemicals with olfactory bulb damage and effects upon the piriform cortex and amygdala. Your email address will not be published. For this reason, open windows are a must in any household. Liteplo RG, Meek ME. Formaldehyde exposure and asthma in children: Inhaled formaldehyde: evaluation of sensory irritation. 1984 Jul 21;66(3):103-6. This means less flooring in landfills, and ultimately lower impact on health and environmental concerns. Tags: formaldehydeformaldehyde and allergiesformaldehyde and asthmaformaldehyde and cancer, Case Adams has a Ph.D. in Natural Health Sciences, is a California Naturopath and is Board Certified as an Alternative Medicine Practitioner, with clinical experience and diplomas in Aromatherapy, Bach Flower Remedies, Blood Chemistry, Clinical Nutritional Counseling, Homeopathy and Colon Hydrotherapy. … View Document They were followed from their first year at the company and followed up as many as 40 years later. © 2019 Realnatural, Inc. All Rights Reserved. They contain around 250 to as little as 50 grams of VOCs per liter. A leading news program recently reported that Chinese made laminate flooring may contain unsafe levels of cancer-causing formaldehyde. The levels coming from the flooring should be decreasing during that period, as the formaldehyde is emitted from the glues into the atmosphere and dissipates from the indoor space through air changes with outdoor air. Still, the researchers suggested the associations were “tentative” – mostly because no previous study has found this association. A 2011 study from the University of California at Berkeley conducted a meta-analysis of studies. Today, average indoor levels have decreased. Some had as much as 13 times these allowable levels. Both the initial and the new report stated clearly that laminate flooring can produce asthma and other respiratory issues. 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