If you have recently installed laminate flooring, formaldehyde in the product may be a very real concern. Research has shown that Chinese-made laminated wood flooring products can contain dangerous levels of this toxic chemical. In elevated quantities, formaldehyde poses a variety of serious health risks due to its toxic nature. Lumber Liquidators and Lowe’s are both currently under investigation for allegedly selling this unsafe flooring, and the number of lawsuits against these companies is growing.
Formaldehyde in Flooring
Formaldehyde is a chemical compound commonly used in the manufacturing of building materials and household products. In the case of laminate flooring, this toxic chemical is used as a glue during the wood pressing process. Most wholesale manufactured flooring products contain some amount of this toxin. Some Chinese factories, however, use a higher level of formaldehyde resin in order to boost production levels. Selling flooring that contains excessive levels of this chemical may violate some federal and state laws. Because of this, more and more people are bringing legal action against the national companies that sell laminated floor coverings with elevated formaldehyde levels.
Health Concerns over Formaldehyde
Off-gassing is what makes laminate flooring with formaldehyde dangerous. The flooring releases the chemical into the air as a gas, which is inhaled by everyone near it. When this chemical is present in the air, people may experience respiratory issues, headaches and trouble sleeping. Formaldehyde gas can also cause skin irritations and allergic reactions. Prolonged exposure has also been linked to cancer, and for this reason, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified formaldehyde as a probable cancer-causing agent.
Finding Unsafe Levels of Formaldehyde in Flooring
Safe levels of formaldehyde are found in flooring that is made with ultra-low-emitting formaldehyde (ULEF) or no-added formaldehyde (NAF) resins. In order to determine if your home or business has laminate flooring with an unsafe level of this toxin, you will likely need to have a sample of your floor tested at a laboratory. It can be difficult to do a floor test, however, as some laboratories are not capable of performing this test, and others may charge high prices or may not offer testing services to individuals. An attorney can facilitate the testing of your laminated wood flooring for formaldehyde. And, if a dangerous level of the chemical is found present, working with an attorney can be the best way to obtain compensation for problems you have experienced as a result of the unsafe toxic chemical levels. You may be entitled to damages for health issues, medical expenses and lost wages. You may also be able to pursue compensation for the laminate’s installation and the cost to replace the flooring.
If you have reason to suspect that your flooring may contain a dangerous level of toxins, contact the professionals at Montgomery Law in Boise today. They will be happy to discuss your case and determine the next steps for pursuing your laminate flooring formaldehyde case.