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High Formaldehyde Basement Floor Joists

August 11, 2017

High levels of formaldehyde in basement floor joists made by Weyerhaeuser. Floor joists with Flak Jacket® Protection manufactured after December 1, 2016. These floor joists are releasing an odor related to a recent formulation change that included a formaldehyde-based resin

Flack Jacket Floor Joists


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines the current “action level” for formaldehyde exposure at a concentration of 0.5 ppm calculated as an 8-hour, time-weighted average (TWA). OSHA requires that employers “shall assure that no employee is exposed to an airborne concentration of formaldehyde which exceeds 0.75 ppm as an 8-hour TWA.” OSHA currently sets the short-term exposure limit at 2.0 ppm for 15 minutes.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s recommended exposure limit is a TWA of 0.016 ppm, with a ceiling limit of 0.1 ppm TWA exposure for 15 minutes.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows no more than 0.016 ppm formaldehyde in the air in new buildings constructed for that agency.

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Formaldehyde Health Effects:

Formaldehyde has been linked to cancer and other eye, nose, throat and reparatory ailments.

According to the EPA Web site, “The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has established a chronic inhalation minimal risk level [MRL] of 0.003 ppm based on respiratory effects in humans.” The MRL is an estimate of the daily human exposure to a hazardous substance that is likely to be without appreciable risk of adverse noncancer health effects over a specified duration.


If you notice an odd odor typically resembling a sweet odor schedule independent air testing for formaldehyde and other harmful chemicals. IndoorDoctor can sample your basement and floors above for toxic formaldehyde.

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