CARB, E1 and E0 Standards For Bamboo Flooring – Whaat?

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When homeowners and building professionals weigh bamboo flooring pros and cons, the sustainable and eco-conscious manufacturing of the material is certainly one of its major advantages. When considering their overall environmental impact in and out of the home, there has been a lot of important discussion surrounding how various brands/types of bamboo flooring are rated for emissions.  I should say this, that my research on this is still ongoing, only because I’ve heard a lot of talk about how some kinds of bamboo flooring have zero emissions. If anyone can point me in the direction of this kind of product, I’d love to read more about it.

What I have discovered is that there are several standards to which bamboo floors are held, all of which with an eye to make improvements to the minimization of potentially harmful emissions.

Here’s a site that talks about the issue of emissions in greater detail.  Basically, off-gassing in nearly every type of flooring has been a given, from carpeting to laminate.  And in the state of California, there was a standard put in place to measure and restrict emissions for the health and safety of those living and working in the interiors in which the flooring is installed.

The California (CARB) parameters for this are currently in flux, with the goal of trying to reduce the tolerance for emmissions starting this month and projected into 2012.   The Californian standard is at 0.20 parts per million, to be improved to 0.18  ppm starting this year.

E1 is a European standard, which accounts for an allowance of 0.14 ppm, has been what our Yanchi brand has been held to.  But, more recently the new standard of E0 has been put in place too. According to Teregren, that standard is 0.07 ppm, second only to the Japanese standard of 0.05.

Obviously, the ideal is to have a bamboo floor, or any type of flooring, with zero formaldehyde emissions and have that as a standard. The balance to be struck is a glue and laminate material which is both durable in the long-term and healthy too.   And new products are coming out all of the time which are getting us closer to that goal.



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