More homeowners are raising concerns over the increased health risks associated with new homes. As a result, contractors/builders are halting on building new homes because of joists layered with formaldehyde. Although the intentions of Weyerhaeuser Company using the chemical are genuine, formaldehyde poses health threats to home owners. Following the current Lumber Liquidators controversy involving high levels of formaldehyde in Chinese-manufactured flooring, contractors/builders have been weary of the harm it poses on interior air hygiene.
What kind of building materials have formaldehyde?
Formaldehyde is widely used in the manufacture of many products in the construction industry. These products range from home cleaners, textiles, paints, yard products, pesticides to landscape. Alternatively, it is also used in press-wood products like oriented strand board, fiberboard, and plywood. Extensively, formaldehyde can be found in paper product coatings and certain insulation substances like urea formaldehyde foam.
What levels of formaldehyde are acceptable?
Owing to its broad use, formaldehyde has tolerable amounts. The chemical occurs naturally though at very low levels of less than 0.03 parts per million (ppm), in both interior and exterior air surroundings. The main effects of formaldehyde exposure include: eye irritation, sore throat, nose burning, and headaches. However, prolonged concentrations may likely culminate to severe effects such as cancer. In most cases the greatest concern is for children and the elderly.
What precautionary measures can U.S builders and home owners do to ensure the homes they are building and living in have acceptable levels of formaldehyde?
Your home should be your sanctuary. A place where you can feel safe and enjoy your time. RDS Environmental provides you with the best inspection services that guarantee a safe dwelling. On a basic level, builders could assist in reducing the intensity of formaldehyde sources by choosing materials without formaldehyde content. For instance, builders could replace wood lumber products that have formaldehyde-based glues with insulation products not based on urea-formaldehyde foam.
Essentially, centered on the area of our specialty, certain standards are applicable to help detect products with lower formaldehyde emission levels. RDS has 40 years in providing air quality testing services, particularly in matters pertaining to home owners’ safety. RDS is BBB accredited and maintains an A+ rating. In case the products have already been installed and you have worries about formaldehyde levels or are experiencing any health effects, you can seek RDS to conduct air sampling in the home. RDS will then provide an explanation of the lab results so that you understand what they imply for your home.
When choosing a lab, it is absolutely necessary to verify that testing will be done in accordance with the guidelines stipulated by the American Society for Testing and Materials in Standards ASTM E1333 and ASTM D6007. All in all, we always advice our clients on proper mitigation procedures to reduce airborne concentrations of formaldehyde in a home. Possible control measures include installing exhaust fans or dehumidifiers at locations where moisture may be present, providing ample ventilation and circulation of fresh air and ensuring proper drainage.
It is always our pleasure to serve our customers in a fulfilling and helpful way. RDS offices can be found in Broomfield, Colorado. RDS is a WBE and is Family-owned and operated. RDS specializes in many other services like mold testing, mold remediation, lead testing, asbestos testing, and radon mitigation installations. With the knowledge RDS has acquired over decades of operation, we can provide our clients with peace of mind in knowing their environment is a healthy one.
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