March 3, 2015


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What is formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable, strong-smelling chemical that is used in various building materials and to produce many household products. It is used in pressed-wood products, such as particleboard, plywood, and fiberboard; glues and adhesives; permanent-press fabrics; paper product coatings; and certain insulation materials. In addition, formaldehyde is commonly used as an industrial fungicide, germicide, and disinfectant, and as a preservative in mortuaries and medical laboratories. Formaldehyde also occurs naturally in the environment – it is produced in small amounts by most living organisms as part of normal metabolic processes.

For additional information on Formaldehyde, see the following links:

Centers for Disease Control (CDC), What You Should Know about Formaldehyde:
CDC Info on Formaldehyde

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), AN UPDATE ON FORMALDEHYDE:
Consumer Product Safety Commission

How do I know if Formaldehyde is present in my property?

The Indoor Environmental Quality professionals at AMEI can help by performing specialized air sampling to determine the levels of Formaldehyde within your property. Bulk sampling of suspect building materials (i.e. laminate flooring, particle board, etc.) can also be conducted to determine the amount of Formaldehyde within the material. Once the results are received from the third party lab, we can provide a written report detailing the findings and compare those results to currently recognized Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL). This information is very beneficial to help you determine the best course of action to reduce Formaldehyde levels within your property.

Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) Fact Sheet, Formaldehyde:
OSHA Fact Sheet

Why are there concerns about Chinese-made laminate flooring?

The story from 60 Minutes has revealed suspect elevated levels of Formaldehyde within specific building materials.

CBSNews Chinese-made Laminate Flooring

How can I reduce the Formaldehyde levels in my home?

There are a variety of options for reducing the Formaldehyde levels within your home. Based upon sample results, it may be recommended to remove the suspect source(s) of building materials which may contain Formaldehyde or, it may be beneficial to increase the amount of interior air circulation by introducing more outdoor air. Since Formaldehyde is water soluble, higher relative humidity levels along with higher temperatures can increase the amount of Formaldehyde that volatilizes from building materials.

Minnesota Department of Health, Formaldehyde in Your Home:
MN Dept of Health