CONSUMER ALERT: Formaldehyde in Laminate Flooring Causes Elevated Cancer Risk

The story has been all the news media within the last week that Lumber Liquidators have sold laminate flooring  made in China and that it can cause cancers of the nose and eyes, 2-9 cases every 100,000 people. What is formaldehyde you ask? It is a colorless gas with a pungent smell. it is used in household products and in building materials. Why is it harmful?  Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. It is one of the most common indoor air pollutants. It emits VOC’s (Volitile Organic Compounds) and can be released into the home for years after these products have been installed. These products have an adverse effect on your health. It can cause nose and throat irriation and for children with asthma, the formaldehyde gas will increase the chances of breathing problems and possibly even hospitalization. If you have these products in your home, seriously consider removing them as soon as possible.

If you have any of this flooring I have been asked, how do you remove it? Just carefully un-click or take it apart board by board and keep it as dust free as you can. It’s best to open the windows while you are doing this. It is also good to vacuum with a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner. Keep the dust down as much as possible, the formaldehyde off gasses and the dust particles absorb the chemicals and they land on your counter tops where food is exposed to and you breathe in the dust in the air. Dust everywhere in your home once the removal is complete. You don’t want your food or your hands to come in contact with this dust. Remember it is toxic!

As a Certified ReGREEN Interior Designer, I am recommending any of the following products to replace the laminate flooring. The first thing I go to is a Porcelain Tile. Porcelain is a great product because it is super durable, the color is all the way through the product so if it chips you won’t be able to tell. My favorite porcelain product if from a company called Crossville Tile made in the USA! They have a wide variety of products to fit any needs you may have. Another great product to use is a solid hardwood flooring. You want the wood flooring to be FSC Certified Wood to stay on the safe side.

If you have any other questions or concerns you can consult the Consumer Products Safety Guide on Formaldehyde by clicking on the link below:

CPSC Formaldehyde Update

The cold hard facts are that most of these Toxic Gases/Fumes/VOC’s that are in the air are known carcinogens and are causing issues like asthma, allergies and other respiratory illnesses. Take precautions in your home to live healthy!

Please call my office if you need educated help with your flooring situation. 740-852-6226 or email me at