Laminate floors consist of pressure-treated wood fibers and chemicals that can release toxic fumes into the air. There are a few ways of removing these fumes that help preserve indoor air quality.
Formaldehyde and petroleum-based resins release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in a process called off-gassing, which can continue for varying lengths of time. The fumes can cause symptoms including eye and throat irritation, headaches and fatigue.
According to HealthyChild.org., good ventilation from fans, air conditioning and open windows is essential for moving fresh air into the building and removing the fumes emitted by the floor. Although lower levels of formaldehyde may not have a detectable smell, they can still cause irritation.
Throwing out all the packaging from a new laminate floor and applying water-based sealants to unsealed products can help remove or reduce exposure. If possible, the laminate should be left in an unoccupied area with good ventilation prior to installation. Heat will encourage faster out-gassing.