On February 10, 2016, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a report titled “POSSIBLE HEALTH IMPLICATIONS FROM EXPOSURE TO FORMALDEHYDE EMITTED FROM LAMINATE FLOORING SAMPLES TESTED BY THE CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION.”
A subsequent correction to that report was issued on February 18, 2016. This has created considerable confusion regarding the potential health risks of Chinese-produced laminate flooring. These reports found varying health risks from the levels of formaldehyde in the select laminate flooring manufactured in China and sold by Lumber Liquidators prior to May, 2015. According to the corrected, more recent report, the tested formaldehyde levels in some of the products were significantly higher than the maximums allowed under the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) 93120 Title 17, California Code of Regulations, Phase 2 requirements for composite wood based products.
All laminate flooring certified by the North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA) must be third-party tested to verify the products meet the CARB 93120 Phase 2 regulations for composite wood panels.
These regulations specify maximum allowable levels of formaldehyde to ensure safe indoor air quality. While formaldehyde is a naturally-occuring component in all wood-based products, excessive levels of formaldehyde in manufactured wood and various building products can increase certain health risks. NALFA Certified laminate flooring meets or exceeds current CARB requirements as part of its overall certification process. This means families can rest assured that their floors are safe and will not harm their health.
For more information about NALFA and to find certified products, please go to: https://www.nalfa.com/
For recommendations on understanding indoor air pollutants and how to minimize exposure visit the CDC’s web link below.