As a result of this report, even in products that are made with no formaldehyde, you may not be purchasing what you think is a safe product for your home and family.
As I stated in my book in Chapter 12, page 154, it is not advisable to purchase building materials and products made with formaldehyde. I would like to expand on this statement here. Products that contain formaldehyde may not be readily apparent. I have always advised my clients and readers to purchase only products that are certified formaldehyde-free. Now, it appears that you may not be able to trust that certification.
An explanation about laminated flooring is in order. When people want the look and feel of solid wood, but cannot afford solid wood, the alternative is laminated wood, which is a think layer of wood laminated (glued) to a thick layer of particle-board, more commonly known in the industry as medium-density fiberboard (MDF) The MDF is made with little chips of wood leftover from the milling process. This recycles the leftover materials into usable products that can be sold at a lower price than real solid wood. The problem is not with the wood particles, but with the glue used to manufacture the MDF and to attach the thin layer of wood to the MDF.
Other products that usually contain formaldehyde and are commonly used in home construction are oriented strand board (OSB), which is used in sheathing walls, subfloors and roofs, carpeting, some plywood paneling and sheathing, laminated kitchen countertops, some foam insulation, and other products.
Therefore, it is my strong advice to everyone not to settle for the less expensive laminated wood flooring. If you want a safe product, purchase real solid wood. There are solid wood products on the market that can be installed at a reasonable price. They are not as thick as standard solid wood planks, but are stable and look great.
The best thing you can do when planning to purchase a new or old home, build a new home, remodeling or addition, is to use exterior grade products and materials, which do not use urea and formaldehyde. Also, make sure your design professional specifies on the plans and specifications that all materials are certified formaldehyde-free. For more information, please go to the Helpful Links page and click on the EHSO website shown.