Bamboo Flooring and Formaldehyde
Learn about formaldehyde emissions, manufacturing processes, and certifications to make informed decisions about selecting low-emission and eco-friendly bamboo flooring options. Prioritize your indoor air quality and create a healthy living environment with bamboo flooring.
What Exactly is Formaldehyde?
Formaldehyde is a naturally-occurring organic compound with the formula H2CO that exists in everything, including our breath and our cellular structure. It is classified as a volatile organic compound (VOC), meaning it is a chemical that becomes a gas at room temperature and is unhealthy in high levels. It is used as a preservative in various products which include plywood, particleboard, adhesives, paint, fabric, vinyl flooring, wallpaper, and many others. It is the strong-smelling, pickle-like smell used in manufacturing those products which are commonly used in our households daily.
Safest Bamboo Floors have "effectively zero" formaldehyde emissions
Most of the higher quality bamboo floor brands (Ambientbp, Teragren and Plyboo to name a few) meet the very tough CARB Phase II and NAUF standards (No Added Urea Formaldehyde). In general strand babmoo floors are pefectly safe if test results show less than .05 ppm and they probably off-gas even less than your wood dining room table or wood office desk.
Many different industries use formaldehyde because of its useful properties
- An aqueous solution of formaldehyde can be useful as a disinfectant as it kills most bacteria and fungi (including their spores).
- Most formaldehyde is used in the production of polymers and other chemicals.
- When reacted with phenol, urea, or melamine formaldehyde produces, respectively, hard thermoset phenol formaldehyde resin, urea formaldehyde resin, and melamine resin. These resins are commonly used in permanent adhesives such as those used in plywood or carpeting.
- Most bamboo flooring is manufactured with adhesives that contain a phenol-formaldehyde resin.
Cheaper or unconcerned bamboo flooring suppliers can have formaldehyde emissions between .2 ppm and .3 ppm (parts per million). Premium bamboo flooring contains virtually no formaldehyde, at levels below .05 ppm. European and American Indoor Air Quality recommendations allow for .1 ppm and below. The most stringent formaldehyde standard in the U.S. is currently CARB Phase 2.
VOC and formaldehyde emissions should also be considered when choosing adhesives for glue-down installations, in the surface finishing material, and in the choice of sub floor materials. For more information about formaldehyde, please visit below page:Environmental Protection Agency's formaldehyde