Safety of wood-flooring products critical to H.J. Martin & Son

Safety of wood-flooring products critical to H.J. Martin & Son

Posted on March 30, 2015 by

Recent media reports have brought widespread attention to the safety of laminate and engineered wood flooring products, based on heightened levels of formaldehyde, a known cancer-causing chemical.  The issue first arose when CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes aired a report on March 1, 2015, saying that a prominent national retailer of hardwood flooring was selling products made in China that failed to meet health and safety standards.

Concerned customers have contacted H.J. Martin & Son, inquiring about the safety of their laminate wood floors.  Anyone inquiring has been told that the wood-flooring products sold by H.J. Martin & Son are safe.

“The safety of any product we sell is of utmost importance,” says Edward Martin, H.J. Martin & Son president and CEO.  “We have the assurance of our suppliers that the laminate and wood flooring products in our showrooms are safe and meet all federal standards.

“I would like our customers to take additional comfort in the fact that we have an ongoing commitment to quality, self-perform all of our work and always stand behind that work.”

It is within industry standards for flooring to contain formaldehyde – it is in the glues used to bind wood particles together to make the core boards of laminate flooring.  The majority of formaldehyde emissions are kept inside by the laminated top which covers the core board.

The key issue to safe use of these products is how much formaldehyde is in the glue.  Congress passed the Formaldehyde Standards Act in 2010, which takes effect nationwide this year.  It mirrors the existing requirements in California, often referred to as CARB 2.

The CARB 2 formaldehyde standard is a stringent 0.05 parts per million.  Any solid or engineered product meeting or exceeding that limit is safe for consumer use.  Independent testing typically is used to confirm compliance with the standard.

Suppliers of wood-flooring products to H.J. Martin & Son have stepped up to share additional information on their materials.  Our partner, Carpet One, has let us know that the following suppliers are CARB 2 compliant: Armstrong, Baroque/Global Direct, Beaulieu Canada, IVC, Kraus, Kronotex, Mannington, Metropolitan, Mohawk, Quickstep, Quickstyle, Richmon/Shnier, Roxston, Shaw, Tarkett, Torlys and US Floors.

Other suppliers have reached out to us independently to affirm their CARB 2 compliance, including: Anderson Hardwood Floors, Paramount Flooring and Canoe Bay.

Mohawk, which says that the majority of its laminate products are made in the United States, certifies that all of its hardwoods and laminates have earned health and sustainability certifications from independent third parties.  Among those is the California Air Resources Board, which established the CARB 2 safety standard.

Armstrong obtains its source materials for laminate flooring from three suppliers, all of which must meet company specifications “requiring adherence to all environmental, health and safety requirements, including formaldehyde emissions” of the U.S. federal government and state regulations, such as the California Air Resources Board (CARB 2).

According to Joseph Bondi, vice president of residential floor products for Armstrong, the company randomly tests its products at the Hardwood Products Veneer Association (HPVA) lab in Virginia.  “Based on our testing practices, certification and specification requirements, and experience, our products meet or exceed all applicable formaldehyde standards,” Bondi wrote to Armstrong vendors on March 2, 2015.

“The importance of working with a trusted retailer has been one of the results of this concern arising,” adds Martin.  “We have people available to answer any questions a customer might have and to address the make-up of specific products.”

Anyone with additional questions about the wood-flooring products sold by H.J. Martin & Son should feel free to call either the Green Bay (920-494-3461) or Neenah (920-886-6668) residential showrooms and speak to one of our experts.

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