Extech Formaldehyde Meters Used to Measure Laminate Flooring Health Hazards

Extech Instruments, makers of the best handheld test and measurement tools, announced today that the Extech FM series of formaldehyde meters is being used to test ambient air in homes and businesses where laminate flooring may contain amounts of toxic formaldehyde that may not meet health and safety standards. Sold by national retailers, the Chinese-made laminate flooring uses formaldehyde in the glue used to bind wood particles that make up the core of the boards. The product is now being scrutinized for non-compliance with formaldehyde emissions standards—by a wide margin in many cases.

Extech’s FM100, FM200 and FM300 Formaldehyde Meters offer highly precise readings of indoor air quality measuring three key factors: formaldehyde (CH2O or HCHO) concentration, air temperature (°F/°C) and relative humidity (%RH). The meters are designed for use by indoor air quality technicians, flooring installers, building renovators, public safety inspectors, property managers, as well as consumers who want accurate formaldehyde concentration measurements. Test indoor air quality before and after laminate flooring installation as well as particle board, medium-density fibrerboard (MDF), plywood, oriented strand board (also known as OSB, sterling board, sterling OSB, aspenite) and other building materials that use glues with formaldehyde.

“The intense news media attention and social media discussion of the laminate flooring in question has led to a lot of anxiety and uncertainty for homeowners and families that are seriously considering tearing out their flooring,” said a Spokesperson from Extech Instruments. “Having the right tools, like Extech’s formaldehyde meters, provides hard, accurate data to determine how safe or unsafe the flooring and air quality in a person’s home really is.”

One additional challenge faced by individuals trying to determine the safety of their laminate floor boards is that environmental factors such as temperature and humidity can affect formaldehyde emissions. In fact, with warmer temperatures and higher relative humidity, building materials with formaldehyde can actually increase their emissions of the harmful organic compound

Testing for excessive emissions from these materials may help validate Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) concerns. The syndrome, suffered by office workers, teachers in schools, children and adults in their homes, and others, includes symptoms such as itchy eyes and throat, dizziness, and headaches. Prolonged exposure to formaldehyde, known to be a carcinogen, can lead to more serious chronic illness.

About the FM100, FM200 and FM300 Meters

All three of Extech’s FM series formaldehyde meters feature high accuracy electrochemical sensors to identify the presence of CH2O or HCHO in a range from 0.00 to 5.00ppm with 0.01ppm resolution and +/-5% accuracy. The FM200 and FM300 meters simultaneously display formaldehyde readings in ppm, along with temperature and relative humidity so users have added insight about how environmental conditions may be impacting emissions. (The FM100 cycles the display of each measurement mode.)

The FM100 and FM300 are tabletop designs that can be placed on the laminate floor itself, on a table, shelf, or desk. Both models complement their large digital display with a three-stage indicator (LEDs or facial icons) to show normal, caution and danger levels. The rugged handheld FM200 meter has a separate fan-driven sensor probe. It is ideal for on-the-spot walk-through inspections of rooms or areas where laminate flooring is installed but it can also be tripod mounted for extended monitoring.

All three models can set off an audible and visual alarm at either a fixed 0.08ppm level (FM100) or adjustable level defaulted to 0.08ppm (FM200 and FM300).  The FM200 and FM300 track minimum and maximum readings while the FM300 also offers date and time, data hold, 8-hour Time Weighted Average (TWA), 15-minute Short Term Exposure Limit (STEL), and on-board memory storage for up to 99 readings.

Extech’s FM series meters all come with a 1 year warranty and are available now through Extech’s global distributor network. To find a distributor near you, please visit: http://www.extech.com/instruments/distributors.asp

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