By Karen Morfitt

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – New homes from northern Colorado to Douglas County have beams contaminated by formaldehyde. They are boarded up with a warning to stay away, including for construction workers.

In a letter to homeowners, beam manufacturer Weyerhaeuser says they will support two solutions – either remove and replace these joists, or they will add a new coating to seal in the formaldehyde. Both leave homeowners with an uneasy feeling.

formaldehyde homes Woman Affected By Formaldehyde Joists Demands Action

(credit: CBS)

“They start to water and sting really bad,” homeowner Alyse Smith said, referring to her eyes.

She continues to say it has been happening for months.

“That’s when we got the notification saying we should only be in our basement for 5 minutes at a time no more than 30 minutes max a day,” Smith says.

A priority shipped letter from her builder CalAtlantic explained that the coating on the exposed beams in her basement contained formaldehyde and could lead to health problems.

km formaldehyde homes Woman Affected By Formaldehyde Joists Demands Action

CBS4’s Karen Morfitt speaks with a homeowner affected by joists contaminated with formaldehyde (credit: CBS)

The family was told the manufacturer of those beams – Weyerhaueser – was working on a solution.

“We really have not heard much, at one point there was talk of them coming out and spraying something over top but nothing since has been said,” Smith says.

In the meantime, Smith says she was told Weyerhauser would pay for them to stay somewhere other than their home, but so far the company has yet to follow through on that promise.

aurora formaldehyde home Woman Affected By Formaldehyde Joists Demands Action

(credit: CBS)

“It was just kind of like the runaround. They didn’t know a timeline. They didn’t know anything,” Smith says.

Doctors say symptoms of formaldehyde poisoning are similar to that of allergies.

Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.

  1. Mark Draw says:

    My wife and I were nearing completion of a home in Lakewood that was contaminated by this issue. CalAtlantic did right by us and offered to let us start over on a new lot to avoid this issue being in the home with potential health risks to our son. Weyerhaeuser sucks and is making this process ridiculous. Lots of promises on the phone but nothing in writing. I’ve been trying to get answers for 3+ weeks and figure out where the hell my family is supposed to live come October.

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