Bamboo is an excellent green building material. It’s fast growing, sustainable, and really beautiful. Bamboo floors are a wonderful choice when renovating or building new. But even these sustainable floors contain a bit of formaldehyde. Learn what standards to look for when purchasing and how to ensure you are not exposed to the chemical.
Tag Archives: formaldehyde
In a story that gained national attention last week, it was revealed that certain low-cost Chinese-made laminate flooring products sold by Lumber Liquidators contain a high volume of formaldehyde. CBS’ 60 Minutes did an investigation and found that the product “may fail to meet health and safety standards, because it contains high levels of formaldehyde, a…
This post is part of the green materials report series. GBE is providing information on various building materials and what makes them green. Each post focuses on one material. We will be looking at the ingredients in the material, how it is used, what makes green materials green, and any green product certifications that it has earned. …
We recently tested several new homes for formaldehyde in the air. The newest home, advertised as a "green" home, had 300 ppb of formaldehyde. Children in homes with only 30 ppb can have decreased lung function. Between 60 ppb and 120 ppb, children are more likely to have asthma and chronic bronchitis. At 100 ppb, most adults experience eye, nose, and throat irritation.
Opening windows is the easiest way to reduce formaldehyde concentrations in homes. The best option is to use only building products that emit little or no formaldehyde. However, when conventional building materials are already in place and emitting formaldehyde, the problem will remedy itself with time. Materials that are several years old emit far less formaldehyde than new products.
Cleaning products and air fresheners can produce formaldehyde. UC Berkeley researchers found that chemicals in pine oils and citrus oils react with ozone in the air, producing formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a strong eye, nose, throat, and lung irritant. Formaldehyde is also an asthma trigger and a carcinogen, according to the EPA.