Dr Oz: Are Laminate Floors Toxic?
Laminate wood flooring is popular in many homes, with the floors designed to be both affordable and safe for you to install in your house. Laminate floors could also be toxic, which means the more you’re exposed, the higher your risk. A recent media investigation found the highest levels of formaldehyde in floor boards made in China. Experts believe those laminates may in hundreds of thousands of American homes. When the government tested them in the fall of 2015, it found exposure to the flooring can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat, asthma, and even cancer. Are your floors putting you at risk?
Dr Oz: Severe Symptoms From Laminate Floors
Anna is one of many people who chose to use laminate floors in her house. After learning formaldehyde was coming from her floors, she had to rip them up and replace them. Anna chose laminate wood flooring from Lumber Liquidators and had it installed, loving the way it looked. They noticed a chemical smell, but thought it looked wonderful inside their home. Her daughter and son then immediately began experiencing a raspy voice and sore throat with watery eyes, and her son was also experiencing nose bleeds.
At first, she thought it was nothing more than seasonal allergies, but they never had the symptoms before then. When she figured out the floors were to blame, she called Lumber Liquidators to ask if she could bring the flooring back to them and they said “absolutely not.” She called corporate and was told the same thing, and was even told they were “absolutely not harmful.” She took it upon herself to tear out the floor through the window, sealed off the room, and took Lumber Liquidators to small claims court.
Within a day of the flooring being removed, all her children’s symptoms disappeared. Anna believes Lumber Liquidators lied, didn’t meet standards, and allowed her to “put poison in her home.” The label on the flooring even said “compliant for formaldehyde” even though it wasn’t.
Dr Oz: Formaldehyde In Laminate Flooring
As for how much formaldehyde is actually in the floors, Lisa Guerrero reported that six to ten times the amount that’s acceptable, with as much as 20 times the amount that’s acceptable in some cases. Lisa showed Dr Oz what Chinese-made floor laminates look like, showing how they look like wood. In reality, the laminates are made up of several layers, including a core board in the center that is made up of a bunch of tiny wood particles that are bound together by resin and glue. Inside the resin and glue is where the high levels of formaldehyde are located.
Each laminate is supposed to have resin on top of the decorative layer to seal everything in. But the formaldehyde naturally degrades into gas and is released into the surrounding area. As for much actually gets inhaled, it depends on how much ventilation is in your home. If you install the flooring in a room without good windows or where you don’t keep the doors open, or in places that are warm and humid, you’re exposed to greater levels of the formaldehyde.
Since the report about the formaldehyde came out, the CEO of Lumber Liquidators resigned and they no longer claim they are selling the Chinese-made laminate, but their stocks and sales have dropped dramatically.
Dr Oz: Natural Flooring Options
If you or your family members have been experiencing symptoms you believe could be caused by laminate flooring, you can collect a 2 inch by 2 inch sample of the flooring, and send it to a lab for a formaldehyde test, but it costs about $300. You’re better off preventing the problem in the first place if at all possible. When shopping for flooring, buy natural floors and avoid the processed. Natural flooring options include clay tile, bamboo, cork, hardwood (which has the highest resale value), porcelain, or linoleum.
When it comes to stained VS glossy floors, the glossy look results from polyurethane. Polyurethane should cure for as long as possible after it’s used to expose yourself to as little toxins as possible. If you’re installing floor yourself, stained finish is less toxic, has no smell, and can be dyed yourself. To ensure your safety when it comes to flooring, go straight to the manufacturer. Learn where the flooring comes from and look for American or Scandinavian made flooring.