Around every corner there are threats to our health and safety. The CDC found cancer risks from laminated flooring imported from China could reach 30 in 100,000, but didn’t think it important enough to suggest people remove the flooring. REALLY! How is 30 people out of 100,000 getting cancer from the flooring not considered assault with a deadly weapon? The weapon being the flooring and the deadly being cancer.
I include the CDC/ATSDR statement to show just how inept our government health agencies have become.
On February 10, 2016, CDC/ATSDR released a report entitled Possible Health Implications from Exposure to Formaldehyde Emitted from Laminate Flooring Samples Tested by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. On February 12, CDC/ATSDR was notified that a private individual who reviewed the report suspected that a conversion error might have been made. CDC/ATSDR staff reviewed the report and discovered that an incorrect value for ceiling height was used in the indoor air model. As a result, the health risks were calculated using airborne concentration estimates about 3 times lower than they should have been. Neither CDC/ATSDR nor the report’s peer or partner reviewers or reviewers noticed the error.
Change in conclusion for short-term health effects
After correcting the measurement error in the model, CDC/ATSDR revised the report’s conclusion about possible health effects from exposure to formaldehyde. In the report that used an incorrect value for ceiling height, we concluded that exposure to the low end of the modeled levels of formaldehyde in the CPSC-tested laminate flooring could cause increased irritation and breathing problems for children, older adults, and people with asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). In the updated report, which used the correct value for ceiling height, we concluded that irritation and breathing problems could occur in everyone exposed to formaldehyde in the laminate flooring, not just sensitive groups and people with pre-existing health conditions.
Change in conclusion for long-term health effects
We also increased the estimated lifetime cancer risk from breathing the highest levels of formaldehyde from the affected flooring all day, every day for 2 years. The lifetime cancer risk increased from the previous estimate of 2 to 9 extra cases for every 100,000 people to between 6 and 30 extra cases per 100,000 people. To put these numbers into perspective, the American Cancer Society estimates that up to 50,000 of every 100,000 people may develop cancer from all causes over their lifetimes.
Our recommendations remain the same.
Although the conclusions in the report have been revised, CDC/ATSDR recommendations to protect health have not; we continue to recommend that people with the affected laminate flooring:
- Reduce exposure – We provide information on how residents can reduce exposure to sources of formaldehyde in their homes
- See a doctor for ongoing health symptoms – We recommend that residents who have followed the steps to reduce formaldehyde in their homes and still have ongoing health symptoms (breathing problems or irritation of the eyes, nose, or throat) only in their homes, should see a doctor to find out what is causing the symptoms.
- Consider professional air testing if irritation continues.
What happened to the acceptable cancer risk of 1 in a million?
As you can see the agency tried to justify their inaction by saying that the American Cancer Society estimates that up to 50,000 of every 100,000 people may develop cancer in their lifetime. That number may be higher than that if people are also exposed to this flooring. This outrageous cancer estimate proves that we need to remove these cancer threats as they are found and not just suggest that people see a doctor for ongoing symptoms
So lets see now, if you have contaminated tomatoes, onions or other food related disease the health agencies are all over it. They tell consumers to not buy or wash thoroughly the vegetable or food product of concern. However, when you have a consumer product that can affect everyone exposed to it there is no immediate health alert or no product recall what so ever. WHAT!
Why do tomatoes get more attention, investigation and result in consumer warning to be careful than toxic chemicals in the environment that is literally killing children? Young children are sick and dying across the country and our politicians don’t seem to care.
Will we ever stop the poisoning of our children, our water, our soil, our plant? I fear not because we are not a problem veggie. We all deserve to be protected, just like the government protects a tomato.