History of Bamboo Flooring
Environmental Benefits
Facts and Myths
Bamboo Flooring Types
Installation Advice
Maintenance and Care
Suppliers Review
Bamboo Flooring Photos
Frequently Asked Questions
How Bamboo Flooring is Manufactured
Bamboo Flooring Shipping
Bamboo Flooring Quality
Moldings and Accessories
Recommended Adhesives
Bamboo Flooring Janka Hardness Scale
Bamboo Flooring and Pets
Expansion and Contraction Problems
Bamboo Flooring Articles

Bamboo Flooring and Formaldehyde

Most of the higher quality bamboo floor brands (Ambient, 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.

Formaldehyde is a chemical compound with the formula H2CO. It is the simplest aldehyde, an organic compound containing a terminal carbonyl group: it consists of one carbonyl. Small amounts of formaldehyde are produced as a metabolic byproduct in most organisms, including humans. Formaldehyde is classified as a V.O.C (Volatile Organic Compound) and is unhealthy in high levels.

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.

If you are considering bamboo flooring, inquire about VOC and formaldehyde emissions from the specific manufacturer or distributor. 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 the
Environmental Protection Agency's formaldehyde page.