Formaldehyde Fury

Formaldehyde Fury

Medical problems caused by negligent hardwood flooring manufacturer put focus on compliance with California Air Resource Board (CARB) standards

Carb II CompliantConsumer complaints of severe allergic reactions to flooring — followed by news that one of the nation’s largest flooring retailers was importing floors that exceeded limits for formaldehyde — should call our attention to the term, CARB Compliant.

Small amounts of formaldehyde occur naturally. But excessive amounts can be emitted from certain glues. Excessive amounts of formaldehyde are carcinogenic.  Flooring manufacturers who are supposed to comply with California Air Resource Board (CARB) standards, should no longer be using adhesives that exceed standards.

But how are consumers supposed to know?

Manufacturers should readily list that they are CARB-complaint.

What does CARB Compliance require?

These rules were implemented in stages.  Before January 2009, emissions of 0.20 parts per million were allowed.

Phase 1 started in January 2009, and required the CARB formaldehyde standard be lowered to 0.18 parts per million.

In 2012, Phase II lowered the formaldehyde standard to 0.09 parts per million.

Claiming CARB Compliance requires third-party testing .

In response to the recent controversy, many wood flooring manufacturers are sending details of their CARB compliance to the retail dealers they supply.Carb II Floor

“Mirage Hardwood Floors’ products contain no added formaldehyde:  All raw MDF or plywood panels used in the manufacturing of Mirage Engineered and Lock products are CARB certified, and therefore respect formaldehyde emission requirements,” reads a recent statement from Mirage Hardwood Floors. “Also, only formaldehyde free adhesives are used for Mirage products.”

For more details about certifications that can help you make flooring choices, see the Natural Interiors Certification Guide, which is used with the scorecard program. ©

— Nancy Kibbee is editor at www.naturalinteriors.com

 

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