Imagine that you or someone in your house has allergies or asthma. Or maybe you are just one of the folks that are concerned about the indoor air quality. You’ve read all the horrible things about carpet. You might have even read our article about the best type of flooring if you have allergies. So you take action and rip out that carpet and replace it with a hard floor. If you selected laminate wood flooring, you may have inadvertently decreased your indoor air quality, not increased it.
The news is enough to make steam shoot out of your ears, your eyes to bleed, and your head to explode. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but if you put in laminate wood flooring you purchased from Lumber Liquidators you may have a real problem with formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde Affects on Indoor Air Quality
Formaldehyde is used in the glues and as a preservative in many products in home construction and remodeling. During and after installation of items such as cabinets and laminated flooring, formaldehyde gasses are released. These gasses can cause:
- Burning eyes
- Respiratory irritation
The federal government recognizes formaldehyde as a known carcinogen and sets limits for exposure.
Formaldehyde and Laminate Wood Flooring Timeline
Beginning in the spring of this year, Lumber Liquidators has come under fire for selling laminated wood flooring that was manufactured in China and exceeds limits for formaldehyde. The timeline is something like this:
March 2015 This is not a good month as 60 Minutes shows up and releases story that claims Lumber Liquidators is selling flooring that exceeds formaldehyde limits. Lumber Liquidators naturally denies the claims as they watch their stock value tumble.
April 2015 While Lumber Liquidators denies that their products are emitting excessive formaldehyde they send test kits to customers that are concerned about their flooring.
May 2015 Oops! Turns out those test kits are showing there is a problem. The first lawsuits are filed. The CEO resigns.
June 2015. Anna Schmidt takes the company to small claims court in Charlotte North Carolina and wins a refund of $796.85. She represented herself. To her amazement, Lumber Liquidators did not want to settle out of court. So, they went to small claims court and she won. She won against one of the top attorneys in Wake County. Things are looking grim for Lumber Liquidators. The EPA begins scrutiny of Lumber Liquidator’s methods of formaldehyde testing.
July 2015. The Global Community Monitor testing finds formaldehyde released by Lumber Liquidators flooring is 100 times over the levels approved by the State of California.
Improve Indoor Air Quality – Remove Formaldehyde
Whether you are in a lawsuit or not, you need to get the formaldehyde out of the air. Some people are looking at air cleaners to do the job. Not all air cleaners remove formaldehyde. Here are the units we think do the best job:
Air Pura P600. Like all the units we are recommending, this unit is designed specifically for the removal of chemicals such as formaldehyde. HEPA, carbon, and ultraviolet light are the tools this unit uses to improve indoor air quality. The AirPura P600 Air Purifier doesn’t use glues in their filters or rubber in their gaskets. No off-gassing and no ozone make this a formaldehyde fighting favorite.
Austin Air HealthMate Plus. The Austin Air HealthMate Plus (sometimes referred to as the SuperBlend) was made for people sensitive to formaldehyde and toluene. The carbon and zeolite mixture in the filter is enhanced with potassium iodide specifically for formaldehyde removal.
This unit has a powerful motor, and it not the most quiet of all the machines, but it is highly effective and affordable. If you already have an Austin Air HealthMate machine, you can convert it to a Austin Air HealthMate Plus Air Purifier by simply replacing your current filter with the Plus filter.
Till Next Time!