Formaldehyde Concerns Grow As More Homeowners Discover Issues

By Rick Sallinger

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– Weyerhauser is blaming a fomula change for a problem that has forced evacuations and kept people from hundreds of homes around the country. Formaldehyde inside the basements of the homes have caused odor issues and potential health risks.

Among those affected are the Pellegrinos, Carole and EJ. The couple and three dogs have been relocated to one cramped apartment.

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Carole and EJ Pellegrino (credit: CBS)

They moved to Colorado from California. Their dream home in Aurora has now turned into a nightmare.

“I’m not sleeping very well, actually crying a lot because this is so hard, harder than you think,” she told CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger.

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(credit: CBS)

Like hundreds of other homebuyers, they have been informed there is a problem with the coating used in fire protection on the joists that support the floors.

Homeowners in Parker, Commerce City, Aurora and Firestone are impacted.

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(credit: CBS)

“Formaldehyde scares me and my wife has autoimmune disease. I have grandkids that are coming to visit hopefully,” said EJ Pellegrino.

After walking around in the basement of their new home, Carole Pelligrino says she felt dizzy. She went to a doctor for an evaluation.

According to CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida, in the short term the chemical can cause headaches, chronic respiratory infections and constant fatigue. Long term exposure could lead to cancer.

formaldeyhyde homes 5pkg frame 1472 Formaldehyde Concerns Grow As More Homeowners Discover Issues

(credit: CBS)

The problem joists are made by Weyerhauser. The company issued a statement that it will cover the cost of temporary housing. It said the formula that was changed was applied at a facility in Louisiana.

Attorneys, like Chad Johnson, are offering legal advice to those affected.

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Chad Johnson (credit: CBS)

“Those (joists) are causing excessive formaldehyde in their homes and they have been advised to move out and some of the builders have not been good about returning deposits or arranging alternate housing at this time,” said Johnson.

The Pellegrinos, like so many others, can only sit and wait.

formaldehyde joints 10pkg transfer frame 1808 Formaldehyde Concerns Grow As More Homeowners Discover Issues

(credit: CBS)

Weyerhaeuser has told CBS4 that remediation has already been completed on several homes. The company has stopped production and use of the affected joists made after December 2016.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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