Due to the presence of formaldehyde, colourless and flammable chemical with a strong smell, in home products – from wood flooring, detergents and paints – there is an inkling of danger in the usage of it.
Although occurs naturally, the health effects from exposure to the gas exceeding 0.1 ppm may cause burning sensations in the eyes, nose and throat, coughing, wheezing, nausea or skin irritation, according to the National Cancer Institute in the U.S.
The presence of formaldehyde has been found several times higher in laminate flooring from Lumber Liquidators – produced in China and sold in the U.S. But a settlement has been reached with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to continue free testing on the laminate floorings for consumers.
Consumer Reports has decided to run some tests of their own to determine the hazardous effects of formaldehyde. The results, according to Consumer Reports, shows that prefinished solid-wood flooring had consistently lower formaldehyde emissions than engineered wood and laminate. The assumption was glues and resins used for engineered wood and resins seems to be emitting the gas. Results also varied across products and even within samples from the same engineered wood or laminate plank.
Consumer Reports also noted that testings done at home or under less controlled environments may cause results to vary too such as when reading becomes high, it can be difficult to isolate the cause.
Source: Consumer Reports