How to Remove Formaldehyde From New Flooring
When you breathe in chemicals, the risks that you run of contracting one of many adverse effects of exposure are dependent on what the chemical is, how much of it is in the air you’re breathing, how long you are exposed to it, and how frequently you’re exposed.
Dangers of VOCs in new flooring
If your home’s new flooring has Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in it, they emit low concentrations of emissions over time. When you’re exposed to these over an extended period of time, your symptoms tend to worsen, and you run a risk of contracting a serious health issue. If you have breathing issues like asthmas or if you have a sensitivity to chemicals, you’re going to have an even higher risk.
Remember that when talking about VOCs, it isn’t a single form of a chemical, but instead, this is the name given to a whole group of chemicals, each of which has its own range of symptoms and side effects.
Typical long and short-term exposure symptoms for higher levels of VOCs in the air from your new flooring, paint, and other factors include nausea, dizziness, asthma, irritation, cancer, liver diseases, nervous disorders, kidney damage, headaches, and worse. The most common form of VOC found in new flooring is formaldehyde.
Danger of formaldehyde exposure
Formaldehyde is a common component of new flooring. It is a gas that is released from different sources over time. While it has a strong smell, it can’t be seen to the naked eye. Breathing in excess amounts of this gas can lead to sore throats, bad coughs, itchy eyes, and even nosebleeds. This chemical odor is also used to preserve corpses in the morgue.
Exposure to this gas is a relative term. Not everyone has the same level of sensitivity to a particular chemical. There are some people who have a higher sensitivity than others, which can lead to non-threatening exposure levels becoming very threatening indeed in some situations.
Typically, one finds that other upper respiratory tract infections and diseases including influenza, the common cold, and allergies increase the risk of contracting one of the side effects of formaldehyde exposure, even at low levels.
One of the biggest dangers of breathing in this gas is the increased risk of cancer it brings with it. This is no small matter either, as it has been a proven factor in the propagation of mutated cells in the body, especially in the nose, throat, and lungs.
Formaldehyde in engineered wood or laminate flooring
Formaldehyde is used in the manufacture of most wood-based products in homes, including laminate and wood flooring. There is no reason to panic, though, because the compound has been approved at extremely low levels for use in homes.
Before you start panicking, remember that formaldehyde is a naturally occurring gas. As such, it is constantly present in your home whether you have wood flooring in it or not. The goal is to keep the background level of formaldehyde in your home low enough that it doesn’t interfere with healthy living.
This doesn’t mean that you should completely avoid engineered wood flooring solutions for your home. All products are required, by law, to have their formaldehyde emission rate on the packaging. Always check for this before buying a product. Make sure it is lower than the regulations permit the maximum level to be.
How to reduce the levels of VOCs in your home
You can reduce the levels of VOC’s in your home to safer thresholds by practicing a few simple safety steps:
Open your windows!
Fresh air is the best way to reduce VOCs buildup in your home. As any physicist will tell you, gasses at a high concentration will try to normalize its level when exposed to air. While impractical in the winter, opening your windows every morning in the summer reduces the dangerous buildup of these chemicals in your home but this tip comes with a disclaimer as you must be cautious and aware of your surroundings and what they are being exposed too. Often neighboring homes are being sprayed with pesticides and other harmful chemicals that may cross-contaminate your home if you are not careful as well.
Reduce your humidity.
If you use a thermostat or a humidifier, set these to the lowest levels where you are still comfortable. The higher these are, the more formaldehyde is released into the air of your home.
When you do need to smoke, take it outside, so there won’t be added chemical stressors inside your house.
Pick your products wisely.
This is the best way to reduce levels in your home. Ensure that most of your flooring and furniture have been made with no or low-VOC wood glue or meets the lowest thresholds available for those products in your region.
How to treat a carpet with formaldehyde
Another risk factor you may not be aware of is that new flooring and carpets contain VOCs like formaldehyde too.
Traditional carpet cleaners simply won’t do the job in a case like this. This is because they use fragrances to mask odors, but do very little to treat or eliminate the source of the odor. There are targeted cleaning products out there like our EnviroKlenz Everyday Odor Eliminator that have been built specifically for this purpose to not only remove chemical odors and VOCs from your carpeting and surface but neutralize the chemical odors that can be a detriment to your health.
The technology used in a product like this is usually naturally occurring minerals in the earth. As you use the product on your carpet, it neutralizes the chemical that causes the odor, such as the complex molecules of formaldehyde, and turn them into other compounds that are odorless and completely safe.
How to remove chemical odors from wood flooring
Generally, a homeowner should be very cautious about what products they use to clean or deodorize when it comes to wood or composite flooring. Enzyme cleaners and deodorizer are known to eat away or etch wood flooring and can have some irreversible damage on your flooring if you are not careful, and some traditional cleaning products such as Clorox and ammonia are very abrasive and can etch or create pinholes in your flooring. The EnviroKlenz Everyday odor eliminator is the safest and most effective product at removing chemical odors and malodors from wood flooring. Just dilute the product in a 4:1 (4 parts Water & 1 part EnviroKlenz) and mop it on the wood flooring. Allow it to sit for ~15 minutes and come behind with warm water and mop off any residual product that has been left behind.
Formaldehyde removal from air
The EnviroKlenz Mobile Air System is your solution for removing VOCs from your home both safely and effectively. The unit is portable and once the Enviro-Air® Cartridge (size 14”x14” included with purchase) is installed it will begin to remove and neutralize chemical odors, allergy triggers, and VOCs from your home’s indoor environment without releasing any chemicals or fragrances back into the air.
The EnviroKlenz Mobile Air System has a tremendous competitive advantage over other air purifiers that utilize carbon to absorb the VOCs and chemical odors from your home. Carbon works similar to a sponge when filled with water it will leak back or emit the very same VOCs that it took it back into your environment. In addition, carbon that claims to be activated is actually doped with chemicals that can cause allergy sufferers and those who suffer from Multiple Chemical sensitivity to react.
The EnviroKlenz mobile air system utilizes a patented, hospital-grade technology to provide maximum air cleaning efficiency for your home and office by combining a certified HEPA filtration along with a patented EnviroKlenz-Air Cartridge to remove airborne pollen, dust, odors, mold, gasses, fragrance, VOCs, allergens, bacteria, and more. The technology is both safe (made from earth minerals) and fast-acting as it works to move the contaminated air from your home through a two-stage filtration process which entails VOC and malodor removal, followed by particulate removal of up to .3 microns. The technology is versatile enough to be used on a broad spectrum of chemical odors and VOCs as well as malodors such as pets and cooking odors.
Mobile Air System
✓ Patented earth mineral technology works to attack VOCs and break them down on a compound level
✓ No chemicals or masking agents
✓ Will not release any chemicals back into your environment
✓ Safer and faster at removing VOC’s than traditional carbon filters and PECO air purifiers
EnviroKlenz® Medical Disclaimer:
“Any information that is provided on this website is not for the use by any commercial or personal entity without expressed written consent of the blog author. The material and statements illustrated within this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases or medical conditions. Nor does the author in any way guarantee or validate the validity, totality, or efficacy of any claims and will therefore not be held responsible for the content of any claims. Always consult your medical physician for any specific medical advice or recommendations.”