Who does not want a healthy indoor environment to live in? Correct! No one does.

Most of the time, health safety is perceived to be a factor in consideration during a product’s manufacturing process only. Finish goods made of Plastics, wood products, metals etc are effected by the conditions they are used in. Even under the prescribed use, all products get effected by the exterior environments they are exposed to.

For decades, scientists are at work to ensure human safety of habitable environments both indoors and outdoors. Indoor air quality standards are based on physical and chemical characteristics along with the airborne gases indoors.

Before going further, lets understand more about the importance of indoor air quality.

 

These airborne constituents indoors, in case of laminate floor testing, referred to as VOC (Volatile air compounds) are released from sub standard fiber boards (the inner core of a laminate flooring) when met with environmental factors such humidity and temperature.

Rigorous tests are made at every production step of Kronoswiss products for this very reason. The two most credible air quality regulations are ensured with:

  1. CARB2 certification
  2. FloorScore certification

CARB2 certified products meet the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) phase 2 stringent emission standards for formaldehyde emissions. The first question that came to my mind was precisely the one you are thinking of right now. What is Formaldehyde gas?

To give you a brief idea of the harmful gas we are discussing in this article, below is an extract from the Toxic Substance portal of ATSDR

Formaldehyde

CAS ID #: 50-00-0

Affected Organ Systems: Dermal (Skin), Gastrointestinal (Digestive), Immunological (Immune System), Respiratory (From the Nose to the Lungs)

Cancer Effects: Known to be a Human Carcinogen

Chemical Classification: Volatile organic compounds

Summary: At room temperature, formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable gas that has a distinct, pungent smell. It is also known as methanal, methylene oxide, oxymethyline, methylaldehyde, and oxomethane. Formaldehyde is naturally produced in small amounts in our bodies. It is used in the production of fertilizer, paper, plywood, and urea-formaldehyde resins. It is also used as a preservative in some foods and in many products used around the house, such as antiseptics, medicines, and cosmetics.

Like any product made from wood fiber, laminate flooring (commonly known as wooden flooring in Pakistan), emit Formaldehyde. Laminate flooring producers in Europe are subjected to strict guidelines to assure ‘Zero’ or below 0.1ppm i.e 0.12 mg/m3 air which is the EPLF standard. This means that a European brand of Laminate/wood floor is safe.

Most of our clients opt for Laminate floors for a cleaner and carpet free environment. Imagine home owners doing away with carpets to avoid dust allergies and falling prey to cheap wood floors that are far more hazardous and are available throughout Pakistan.

These floors are usually imported from China (nothing against the Chinese, we love you guys!) but almost all the wood flooring being imported in Pakistan from China is sub-standard (in order to keep the prices low) and contains urea-formaldehyde which can cause everything from asthma to cancer.

In the USA, we took California as an example where investigators looked into alleged sales of non Carb 2 compliant floors by one of the leading sales outlets of Laminate flooring on the west coast. Following is an excerpt from the story done by CBS news in 2015 when they investigated a laminate flooring factory in Changzhou, China and their importer in California, USA:

Employees at the mills openly admitted that they use core boards with higher levels of formaldehyde to make Lumber Liquidators laminates, saving the company 10-15 percent on the price. At all three mills they also admitted falsely labeling the company’s laminate flooring as CARB 2, meaning it meets California formaldehyde emissions standards, and the new U.S. federal law.

At this factory, the general manager told investigators Lumber Liquidators is one of their biggest customers.

Manager: This is a best-seller for Lumber Liquidators.

Investigator: For Lumber Liquidators?

Manager: Yeah.

Investigator: How long have you been selling this?

Manager: From last year.

Investigator: Is this CARB 2?

CARB 2 means it’s compliant with California law. But listen to what the general manager told us.

Manager: No, no, no… I have to be honest with you. It’s not CARB 2.

Investigator: Can I get CARB 2?

Manager: Yes, you can. It’s just the price issue. We can make CARB 2 but it would be very expensive.

And that’s the same thing the undercover team was told at all three mills they visited.

Investigator: All this stuff here, Lumber Liquidators… All their labeling is CARB 2 right? But it’s not CARB 2?

Employee: Not CARB 2.

The scenario in Pakistan is not at all different from the above example. Saving money on purchase to maximize profits is good, but if it is done at the cost of consumer health, it is just wrong!

Laminate flooring, besides giving the aesthetic appeal to your interior spaces, should be healthy. Kronoswiss Laminate Flooring does not only follow the strict EPLF standards, it is the only Laminate/wood floor available in Pakistan that carries a ‘Swiss Quality Label’ which guarantees the high precision and safety standards of our products.

How Formaldehyde in Chinese Flooring Can Make you Sick!

UPDATE: A follow up on Formaldehyde concerns in Chinese laminate flooring with reference to the case reported last year.

Remember, Laminate flooring is associated with beauty and comfort under your feet. Your indoor space needs to be comfortable and healthy at the same time. That is why, Kronoswiss is the primary choice of leading Architects and interior designers across the globe.

Get the best of both worlds. Live healthy, Live Large!