This is the symbol to indicate emission class. The emission classes denote the amount of formaldehyde released from wood-based materials.
This distinction is made between classes E1, E2, and E3, with class E1 having the lowest amount of emission. Classes are assigned based on testing. In this scenario, a test piece of wood is subjected to moving air kept at a constant temperature inside a testing room. The amount of formaldehyde that is released is then measured and given a value in parts per million (ppm). This value must not exceed 0.1 ppm. Common laminate flooring contains such a small percentage of contaminants that they are generally labeled as ‘contaminant-free.
E1 is a standard of safety recognized in Europe. This standard signals the maximum levels of formaldehyde that each piece of flooring can contain. The United States used CARB (California Air Resource Board) ratings. Although these two standards use separate testing methods, the standards are similar.
E1 standards say that acceptable formaldehyde emissions are an emission level of .10 parts per million. That’s similar to CARB Phase 2 standards, which say .11 parts per million is acceptable.
Those numbers might not tell you a whole lot, so you should know that both standards only accept formaldehyde emissions at an extremely low rate. Look for either of these ratings while shopping for your laminate flooring. It’ll help you know which floors are safe, and which ones might be a danger to your health.