Floor Care & Safety
We know bamboo itself is an eco-friendly material – growing to maturity within 3-5 years, compared to 20-120 years for timbers – but what about it’s impact on our health when we live on it as a finished floor?
Firstly, what is formaldehyde?
Formaldehyde is an organic compound that has been given much recent publicity, leading it to be commonly associated with health risks and emissions from glues leaching into the air from fixtures in our homes and offices. Why? Because it is highly toxic and a potential carcinogen. Yet, it is naturally occurring and impossible to avoid – you’ll even find it in organic fruit and veg. Formaldehyde is indeed used in glues. Formaldehyde solutions can also be useful as disinfectants as they kill most bacteria and fungi, and are applied topically in medicine too. What’s key is the level of the stuff we are exposed to, not whether or not it is present.
For us, we work on bamboo floors by day and live on them by night. So we’re especially interested in what any formaldehyde in our product might mean for our health too.
Both family and health are values very important to us, and we want to be sure we’re not putting any other families in harm’s way with our product either. So we’ve done all the testing we can to ensure we’re all safe.
Bamboozle flooring is comprised of 3 elements –the bamboo and glues used to assemble the floorboards, the adhesive used to install the board in your home and the polish to finish it – so let’s run through how each individually stack up…
For all of our Bamwood® boards we use a proven European glue formulation that is manufactured to meet the very strict European Emission standards. This equates to less than 3% of the board, and the rest is natural bamboo.
Would this 3% of low-emission glue cause us any harm? It pays to be safe, so we tested it…
What this test involved was pulverising our boards into shavings and heating, then measuring the emissions from this. This was a job we put to some specialist chemists in perth. The result was conclusive – even if your floor magically turned to dust all of a sudden, your home would still be safe from emissions. There’d be less that 10% of the Exposure Standard for Atmospheric Contaminants in the Occupational Environment, to be exact. So, yeah, it’s plenty safe. Although, that said, we’d be weary of living in magical houses that could instantly turn something as hard as Bamwood into dust!
The manufacturers of the glues we use to install Bamboozle flooring have been certified for their products to be used in contact with food. This means they are safe to eat off – in case you ever felt the urge. Consequently, there is no health risk even after long term exposure. In fact, they even meet the specifications of the Green Building Council of Australia.
Our pre-finished boards come with a water-based polyurethane already applied. Because the finish is cured before it is installed, it reduces the amount of emissions you’re exposed to in your home, in comparison to having the polishing done in situ like a timber floor.
Polyurethane sounds like something scary itself, but polyurethanes are even used in surgical implants for our bodies. Although, of course, not all these things are created equal – we just make sure we always choose the healthier options. In fact, our polish was actually included in the test mentioned above. I guess magical houses aren’t likely to exclude the polish in their wrath.
So, while we can’t comment on the emissions from all bamboo flooring products out there, we can be certain that our Bamwood is a safe choice. Seems I’m safe from sprouting extra limbs anytime soon – well not from the bamboo at least.
If you’d like to see the actual test results with all their big sciency words and all, then pop into the showroom and we’ll show you everything we have.
TLTR: Bamboo = safe as houses. (pun intended)