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New homeowners facing an unexpected challenge: formaldehyde-smelling wood

Homeowners of new homes around the country were shocked to discover something unexpected. Not mismatched carpet or unfinished plumbing, but rather, a foul-smell that permeated the house, courtesy of Weyerhaeuser Co., a company responsible for producing floor joists—support beams that go underneath the flooring—which were coated with formaldehyde-based resin, causing a strong odor and eliciting a physical reaction within some people. 

The offending joists

Weyerhaeuser Company recently released a report that they are voluntarily recalling their TJI Joists with Flak Jacket Protection, and will spend more than $50 million to renovate homes which currently have the foul-smelling joists, removing them in the process.

While most of the houses are not yet occupied, the formaldehyde coating gives off a pickle-like smell, and has been reported to cause nausea, cause ear, nose and throat irritation, and even trigger an attack in those who suffer from asthma.

The company reports that the issue is present in Flak Jacket products produced after December 1, 2016.

What this means for Ohio homeowners

Ohio is one of several states which have homes that were built with the defective joists, alongside Colorado, New Jersey and Missouri, among others.

Homeowners who have been inconvenienced or have experienced a physical reaction to the fumes may have options beyond just waiting for a replacement from Weyerhaeuser, including an impending class action lawsuit. Those affected should consider exploring all legal options.

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