Are Our Laminate Floors Safe?
The short answer is you can be absolutely confident that the laminate floors that we sell at Martin’s Flooring are safe to people and pets and meet the CARB 2 standards for acceptable levels of formaldehyde emissions allowed by law.
For a more detailed explanation, you are invited to read on…
A few weeks ago, an investigative report was presented on 60 Minutes about the unsafe levels of formaldehyde emissions in the Laminate Floors sold by a particular major, national Flooring Store chain that specializes in selling primarily Hardwood Flooring.
The very real concerns raised by this 60 minutes report on the formaldehyde levels in this brand’s laminate flooring has caused a great upheaval with the public about the safety of the laminates that are being sold across the country.
How safe are the laminate floors we sell at Martin’s Flooring, and what about the laminate floors that were purchased by customers in past years? First let’s define what formaldehyde is, and how it is used not only in flooring, but in many other products.
Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable, strong-smelling chemical that is used in building materials and used to produce many household products. It is used in pressed-wood products, such as particleboard, plywood and fiberboard; glues and adhesives; permanent press fabrics; paper product coatings; and certain insulation materials. It’s also used as an industrial fungicide, germicide and disinfectant. It’s used as a preservative in mortuaries, school labs and medical laboratories. Cigarette smoking produces it, but formaldehyde also occurs naturally in the environment. (Wikipedia, “What is Formaldehyde?”)
The allegations of the 60 Minutes report was that this particular manufacturer was selling laminates made in China that were not meeting requirements established in California by the California Air Resource Board, known as CARB 2, regarding the levels of formaldehyde emissions in their laminate products. The California Law is so stringent that it is the standard by which all leading flooring manufacturers and distributors across the country use as a guideline for manufacturing their products, so that they are compliant with CARB 2’s acceptable levels of formaldehyde standard.
As the news report showed, this particular Flooring retailer was placing the “CARB 2 Compliant” label on their laminate floor packages and product literature, but tests revealed that these products contained high levels of formaldehyde and were not meeting the law’s requirements. This has created a national uproar. People are concerned that the laminate floors they have or that are carried in all of Martin’s Flooring stores may not be safe. These are legitimate concerns, so here is where Martin’s stands on this issue.
The manufacturers and suppliers of the laminate products sourced through the Carpet One cooperative, of which Martin’s is a member, have all produced letters stating that their products not only meet CARB 2 requirements, and in some cases meet even more stringent standards implemented by the manufacturer, that you can feel totally safe regarding these formaldehyde emission levels. All of our suppliers are based in North America, and they all stand behind their products. Copies of these letters from Armstrong, Mannington, Shaw, Mohawk, Quickstep, Tarkett, US Floors and more are available.
You can rest assured to know that our flooring products are safe to you, your children and your pets. If you have further questions, feel free to ask your Martin’s sales associate. They can give you even more details about this subject.