"Home sweet home" is likely not the mantra that first comes to mind for some Colorado home buyers.
And that is understandable, given that their new dwellings are emitting strong smells that spell far more than mere inconvenience and irritation.
A lawsuit recently filed in a state court sets forth the details surrounding homeowners' discontent with their recently built dwellings.
The central contention can be summarized quickly, to wit: Some families have been driven from their homes by a pungent smell that owes to something quite ominous, namely, floor joists painted over with a resin intended to make them flame-resistant.
There is a problem with that, and it potentially affects well more than 2,000 homes in which the joists have been installed.
It is this: The resin contains formaldehyde, which is toxic. When breathed in, formaldehyde can lead to myriad and serious health problems, which reportedly range widely from various allergic reactions and skin rashes to neurological maladies and cancer.
The above-cited lawsuit targets Seattle's Weyerhaeuser Company on behalf of homeowners in Weld County who have had to vacate their homes pending a fix.
A Weyerhaeuser spokesperson says that the company seeks "to do the right thing for everyone who is affected" and that the manufacturer is already focused on remediation in more than 1,000 properties.
An attorney for the lawsuit's plaintiffs says that, while they moved out quickly enough to avoid adverse health effects, they could suffer financially from a diminished value in their homes.
He notes that, notwithstanding an ultimate fix, "they're going to have to disclose it [the fact that the floor joists were toxic and had to be replaced or otherwise repaired] when they resell."