Many of you are aware that Watermeade Valley Home Inspection works with Prism Analytical Technologies to conduct two different indoor air quality tests – one to test for and measure both volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) and mold VOC’s, and another to test and measure for formaldehyde.
The formaldehyde option is a direct result of the controversy regarding laminate flooring imported from China by Lumber Liquidators. It is flooring that, while marked as compliant with the California Air Resources Board, actually vastly exceeds every standard for formaldehyde off-gassing.
The CDC has stated that exposure to formaldehyde from this flooring can irritate your eyes, nose and throat and can increase breathing problems for people with asthma or COPD. The CDC has also estimated that the flooring could cause 2-9 cases of cancer per 100,000 people exposed.
BUT… on February 23rd it was reported that the CDC miscalculated. That’s right… the Centers for Disease Control miscalculated by mixing up feet and meters. The risk is actually three times greater than originally reported, meaning the cancer cases could actually be 6-30 cases per 100,000 people.
It’s important to state that this issue is specific to inexpensive laminate flooring made in China and sold by Lumber Liquidators to both end users and developers. We recommend that any home with inexpensive laminate flooring purchased or installed since 2012 have its air tested. The test takes about a half hour, can be conducted during a home inspection or as a stand alone service, and costs $180.