Feb 18, 2016

CDC Issues Report on Possible Health Implications from Exposure to Formaldehyde Emitted from Laminate Flooring

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a joint report titled, "Possible Health Implications from Exposure to Formaldehyde Emitted from Laminate Flooring Samples Tested by the Consumer Product Safety Commission."

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) testing indicated excessive levels of formaldehyde from laminated wood flooring manufactured in China; and the CDC and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) evaluated possible health effects from formaldehyde released into indoor air from this laminate flooring.

On March 1, 2015, 60 Minutes reported that Lumber Liquidators®, was selling a Chinese-produced laminate wood flooring product that released high levels of formaldehyde. 60 Minutes tested formaldehyde levels in 31 boxes of commercially available laminate flooring products purchased from Lumber Liquidator® stores in five states (Florida, Illinois, New York, Texas, and Virginia). 60 Minutes reported that some test results were higher than the California Air Resources Board (CARB) emission standards. Because of concerns raised by the 60 Minutes report, CPSC conducted an in-depth test of laminate flooring samples manufactured in China during 2012-2014 that were sold at Lumber Liquidators® stores. CPSC subsequently requested that CDC/ATSDR evaluate the test results for possible health effects.

In general, the report did not raise a cancer concern; it did, however, conclude that exposure to formaldehyde in the CPSC-tested laminate flooring sold at Lumber Liquidators® could cause irritation and breathing problems in children, older adults, and in people with asthma or other breathing problems.

In addition to the possibility that CPSC may take further action, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency  will be releasing a composite wood rulemaking, similar to the CARB composite wood rule that regulates the formaldehyde emissions from composite wood.