A little over one year ago, the CBS news program 60 Minutes reported that a major flooring retailer was selling a Chinese-produced laminate wood flooring product that released elevated levels of formaldehyde. 60 Minutes tested formaldehyde levels in 31 boxes of commercially available laminate flooring purchased from the retailer’s stores in five states and reported that some test results were higher than the California Air Resources Board (CARB) emission standards.
In response, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) tested laminate flooring samples manufactured in China during 2012-2014 that were sold at the retailer’s stores. The test results were then evaluated by the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) for possible health effects.
The results were published in a report from the NCEH/ATSDR in February entitled Possible Health Implications from Exposure to Formaldehyde Emitted from Laminate Flooring Samples Tested by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. That report was later revised and republished in March after an incorrect value was used in its calculations. For the new report, the CDC/ATSDR states that the agencies have concluded that irritation and breathing problems could occur in everyone exposed to formaldehyde in the laminate flooring, not just sensitive groups and people with pre-existing health conditions. The lifetime risk of developing cancer from exposure to the formaldehyde was also increased from the previous estimate of 2 to 9 extra cases for every 100,000 people to between 6 and 30 extra cases per 100,000 people.
“Preventing needless exposure to elevated levels of formaldehyde in people’s homes, offices and schools is important for everyone’s long-term health,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “At EMSL, we offer formaldehyde testing services to product manufacturers, distributors, retailers, health agencies, environmental consultants and the general public. These testing services can prevent exposure risks from occurring in the first place in questionable products and can identify potential hazards that may already exist if these products have already been installed.”
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.