Can imported laminate wood floors make you sick?

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The warm luster of laminate wood flooring can give your home or office an inviting and natural look. But, according to recent press reports, some laminates imported from China produce potentially hazardous emissions of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.

Formaldehyde is a naturally-occurring substance that’s used in the manufacture of pressed woods, glue and preservatives. It’s glue that holds together the thin laminated layers of wood flooring. Formaldehyde can leach from products in a gaseous form, and be inhaled. The National Cancer Institute says that high levels of formaldehyde may cause irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat, and may cause some types of cancers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working on a rulemaking, which it projects it will complete later this year, to address formaldehyde emissions from wood products. In the meantime, you can look at the standards for formaldehyde set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

To reduce formaldehyde in your home or workplace, follow steps from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. You also can find information about formaldehyde exposure at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a unit of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

If you’re in the market for pressed-wood products, the EPA says:

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Homes & Mortgages

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We purchased hardwood from lumber liquidators is this a problem

I purchased flooring from lumber liquidators and suffered from severe nose bleeds, eye and throat irritation and coughing. What should I do?

Thank you for sharing your experience. You may want to file a report with the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Great info! It was really interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing....

I installed bamboo laminate flooring purchase from Home Depot for years ago ever since then I have been sick most of the time I have been hospitalized 3 times I'm sick all the time I don't know what to do please help.

According to recent press reports, some laminates imported from China produce potentially hazardous emissions of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.

To reduce formaldehyde in your home or workplace, follow steps from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

You also can find information about formaldehyde exposure at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a unit of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

This FTC article about solving consumer problems has ideas about working with a seller when you're unhappy about a product or service.

I have just purchased a townhouse that has been totally redone. The floors have new dark laminate surfaces and I would like to know if these floors are in compliance with the safe national standards. How would you determine that?

I am in the process of buying a townhouse with laminate wood flooring. How can I find out if they are compliant and if the are emitting formaldehyde?

You can find information about formaldehyde exposure at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a unit of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The fact sheet has addresses and contact information.

The information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says you can also contact your community or state health or environmental quality department.

Please note that even if flooring is CARB Phase II compliant, it does not mean that it's safe. I recently had laminates that were certified as being compliant installed in my house and the fumes made me sick (started as tingling around the mouth, then burning and numbing sensation around the face then same sensation on my hands, and tightness in the chest). What concerned me was that what was an extremely awful chemical smell to me, my husband and kids only detected new wood smell--if they were able to smell what I smelled, they too would want the laminates removed ASAP. I was only able to last a few days with the laminates before having them removed. No more laminates for me.

Hi..I live in Australia and currently living in company supplied housing. It's a factory manufactured home and most likely has chipboard/particle board flooring with laminate timber look flooring over the top. I have been experiencing the same systems you describe above! This is my second summer in the house. It's always worse in Summer and I have read that VOC'S emit higher in hot weather. I'm sure I can smell formaldehyde as I have worked with it before. Ugggh I need to get out of this house as it's making me sick!! I'm at home with a baby at the moment but hopefully will be getting a job soon that will require me to move. I'm not going to rent a property with laminate flooring again!

has anyone complain with a skin rash?

I had laminate installed from lumber liquidators Sept 8, 2016. From October 5th I've been sick with antibiotic resistant upper respiratory infection. I've missed a lot of time at work without pay. My laminate box is dated 2013 and says it's made in the US. However, lumber liquidators will not disclose where in the US this is manufactured.

You may want to file a report with the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

We installed morning star Bella bamboo flooring 5 years ago and I have suffered extreme allergies for 5 years. Call me crazy but I just didn't put 2 and2 together. I have never had allergies before. Been sick with extreme sinus infections, developed asthma. 2 years of allergy shots and still get sick. Finally thinking ok what is different in last 5 years? Floors!! Not sure what to do?

I have been sick also installed 2013.

2014 Home Depot Home Legend Bamboo engineered floors installed. Utterly sick once spring/summer heat & humidity rise. How do I find a lawyer? I can't afford to put tile in unless I'm reimbursed for this toxic product first. HELP.

You can use this state-by-state list from the American Bar Association to look for a lawyer, or visit this site from the State Bar Associations.

If you are a veteran, visit the American Bar Association's

ABA Pro Bono resources for Veterans.

Incredible points. Sound arguments. Keep up the great work.

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