Recent allegations by "60 Minutes" regarding the level of formaldehyde present in flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators—amounts that would make the product illegal in California—have brought a fresh surge of attention to the chemical's presence in building materials.
As energy-efficiency initiatives grow in popularity and stringency, builders are constructing homes with ever-tighter envelopes, making indoor air quality a major concern. Formaldehyde and other VOCs, most frequently found in wood products, finishes, and paints, have been chief among the pollutants targeted for potentially dangerous health effects, such as respiratory issues and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin.
The good news is, builders looking for the healthiest selections have no shortage of options. Many manufacturers have been making efforts not only to decrease the formaldehyde in their own products, but in some cases, to provide products that can reduce the already-existing presence of the chemical.
Here's a round-up of coverage highlighting formaldehyde-free products from BUILDER and ECOBUILDING PULSE.
1. Return-on-Environment: Building Products Go Green, from Cradle to Grave: When it comes to developing sustainable products, leading companies tackle all angles.
2. The Sum of Its Parts: While cabinets may seem simple, multiple components affect resource efficiency and indoor air quality, requiring careful consideration during selection.
3. Air-Purifying Hardwood Flooring Hits the Market: New technology breaks down airborne toxins for healthier indoor air.