Is there formaldehyde in flooring? The Carpet Guys want to educate our consumers so they can feel confident in the flooring purchases and installations they make. Here is the information you need to know.
What is Formaldehyde?
Formaldehyde is an invisible, flammable gas that has a strong odor. It’s found in many building materials, household products, and furniture. For example, plywood, particleboard furniture, glues, paints, dishwashing liquids, cosmetics, and fabric softeners, to name a few. Off-gasing is a process when gases are released from products that have gone through a chemical process. When these products off-gas, is when formaldehyde may be released into the air. Breathing this air is what makes it harmful to humans.
Check out this article by the CDC for more information on what formaldehyde is.
Laminate, engineered hardwood, and vinyl are most likely to possess formaldehyde. Fortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB), have put strict standards in place for all flooring manufacturers within the United States. Formaldehyde is measured in “parts per million” (ppm). The range for formaldehyde in normal air quality is 0.03ppm to 0.08ppm. The standard upheld by the EPA and CARB under the TSCA Title VI Compliant Certification is 0.05ppm (link to EPA formaldehyde information). This is lower than the air we breathe regularly. They impose the same standard on products imported into the U.S. Despite this, it is much harder to enforce outside our country.
What Does This Mean for the Consumer?
First, make sure you know where your flooring comes from. Rest assured that The Carpet Guys proudly install products Made in America.
Second, if you have new flooring installed, give it time to air out. New flooring off-gases most of its formaldehyde within the first 24-48 hours. So, if you already have one of these types of floors, know that your home has probably already returned to normal.
If You Want to Minimize Formaldehyde Exposure
Unfortunately, we can’t eliminate formaldehyde in our lives completely. Even plants and animals produce trace amounts of it. Although, you can choose a flooring type with minimal amounts. Hardwood and carpet have the lowest amounts of formaldehyde present (Low-VOC Carpet blog). The Carpet Guys carry a large selection of carpet, in-stock, for next-day installation. Also, if you want hardwood, give us a call at 855-4-MY-GUYS (855-469-4897) or fill out our Free In-Home Estimate form and one of our professional representatives will contact you.