Toxic Swedish finish

Q: My builder’s wonderful flooring company installed red oak hardwood floors on the whole main floor of our house and now I hear that Europe banned the Swedish finish used on our floors almost 20 years ago. I need to know how toxic these floors are, about toxic Swedish finish, and is there a finish I can apply over the finish in order to seal in the gassing off?

A: I have not used these finishes in probably over 20 years. They are terrible to apply and require approved respirators which were not provided when I was an employee.

I will say this about them. They are the toughest finishes I have ever worked with. I attach a document that deals with your concerns and it will be up to you what you do with it from there.

What is formaldehyde and why is it in Swedish finish?
By Duane Bartel, President, Glitsa American – Part Two of Four

Could Swedish finish fumes harm our pets?

Related Q: We are having Swedish finish put on our floors. We have a pet rabbit in our attached garage. Just one wall between the living room and the garage. Should he be removed from the house while the floors are refinished? Could the fumes harm him?

A: The vapors off that type of coating are seriously nasty, at least the last time I used it they were. It is so bad, I wouldn’t choose to use this finish though it is very tough. Definitely move any pets and people away until you know there are no more fumes.

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