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How to choose quality wood flooring and minimize formaldehyde at home

July 5, 2020

Choose wood flooring carefully to protect the health of your family

Modern, savvy consumers these days puts health and safety as their priority. So when it comes to choosing renovation materials, such flooring, paint and furniture, they would strive to look for those with minimal formaldehyde and VOCs. This is because not only would bad quality renovation materials cause direct harm to the human respiratory system, they may also affect the haemopoiesis system and immunity, which would in turn lead to leukemia or other serious illnesses.

Flooring is an important part of home renovation, after all it is the largest piece of furniture in the house. Therefore, the potential harm that formaldehyde and VOCs can cause to pregnant women, children and the elderly should not be taken lightly and extra care must be taken when choosing quality wood floor. First of all, formaldehyde may affect the growth of the fetus, resulting in its deformation or even miscarriage; secondly, as children often crawl or sit on the floor to play, they would inevitably breathe in the formaldehyde that is released from the bad quality wooden floor more easily that adults; and thirdly, as the elderly have weaker immunity, and as they stay in the house for longer periods of time, they would inevitably inhale more formaldehyde.

Equal has always put health and safety of our customers at the forefront of everything we do. All of the wooden flooring our company supplies are certified by the European Union EU E1 standard.

However, what exactly are VOCs, formaldehyde and the EU E1 standard? When we feel unwell after inhaling odors from such sources as detergents, cosmetics or second-hand smoke, etc., this may likely be your body’s’ reactions to VOCs.

零甲醛 地板 健康 裝修 歐盟認證 無甲醛

Understanding VOCs and their effects on physical health

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) refer to organic materials that are highly volatile in room temperature, which cause air pollution. There are more than a hundred types of compounds/organic compounds that have been included in the list of compounds today, and formaldehyde is the most common type of VOCs. When we come into the contact with high-content VOCs, not only would our eyes, nose and respiratory system have allergic reactions immediately, it could have toxic effects on our central nervous system. Though most people would not be affected by coming into contact with low-content VOCs over a short period of time, people with asthma and allergies must be careful.

Many people thought the smell of formaldehyde is often pungent, and that it would be safe once the odor is removed after the renovation is completed. In reality, formaldehyde is colorless and odorless, and it could cause allergy and discomfort if the concentration is high enough. If we breathe in formaldehyde over a long period of time, the risk of developing cancer and respiratory diseases would also increase. Therefore, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially listed formaldehyde as a Type 1 carcinogenic and teratogenic substance in 2004.

Trace its source and choose EU-certified E1 wood flooring

VOCs can be found everywhere in our lives, such as in fragrance products, insecticides and clothes after dry-wash, etc., all of which could possibly release VOCs. In the course of interior renovation, however, wood-based furniture, adhesive agents, paint and wood flooring are the main sources of VOCs. In fact, natural wood would release a minute amount of formaldehyde, and the wood in wood flooring would naturally release more VOCs after having undergone such anticorrosive and adhesion processes.

In order to ensure public safety, the EU passed a set of authoritative statutory regulations and standards for the amount of formaldehyde released by wood flooring. The lowest classification of formaldehyde release volume is E1, which is an amount lower than 0.124/m³ (0.1 ppm). This is within the range for indoor health and safety standards.

All wooden flooring supplied by Equal are certified by the European E1 standard.

Equal is committed to protect the health and safety of our customers. Two of our wooden flooring brands, Mafi and Adler strive to reduce chemical processing of their wood materials. At the same time, they carefully select adhesive agents, varnish and grease that are natural and conform to the E1 standard. For example, Mafi’s adhesive agents consist only of water, coal, lime and acetic acid so as to further minimize the potential formaldehyde release volume.


There is no such thing as “E0” standard wood flooring

The formaldehyde content of the so-called “formaldehyde-free E0 grade” wood flooring in the market is not actually zero. Because there will be some levels of formaldehyde, despite the minute low level. In fact, there is no E0 standard in the EU standards. There are no specifications in the official standards for testing E0, and neither is there a recognized testing unit. Therefore, the exceeding of the standard in the actual amount of formaldehyde released by wood flooring is not considered a violation of the law.

Learn more about Mafi’s E-1 natural wood flooring here.

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