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Women Suffered Miscarriages After Moving Into Homes With Formaldehyde Joists

By Karen Morfitt

DENVER (CBS4)- Hundreds of Colorado families are taking legal action against the company responsible for exposing many of them to high levels of formaldehyde. Now, two women claim they suffered miscarriages shortly after moving into the homes.

Weyerhauser floor joists covered in special fire retardant were recalled in July for the release of that known carcinogen.

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The health impacts can range from eye watering and headaches to cancer and now the latest lawsuits claim they may have caused two women who asked not to be identified to miscarry.

"When you're pregnant being at home… you would think is the safest place to be, turns out it wasn't."

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A discovery both women would make after living in their homes for several weeks.

"We were really excited it was our dream home."

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Even through all the excitement, both women say almost immediately they raised concerns- mainly with their basements.

"We told the construction manager, 'What's this weird smell?' and he said, 'Oh, It's normal new house smell.'"

With that reassurance from their builders, they moved in.

The Pellegrinos home (credit: CBS)

After settling into their new lives it turns out they were right there was a problem- with their floor joists.

"You think, Well, okay… am I going to be able to live in this house? Am I going to have to start all over?'"

Formaldehyde Joints 1
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Adding to those worries, both women were approaching the end of their first trimesters.

"I had my doctor's appointment for two days after we were told we should leave her house and that was one of the first things I told her."

Both would suffer a miscarriage and both believe that the exposure played a role.

formaldehyde homes
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"Devastating… it's not something I want anyone, any women, to have to go through and now it's just who knows if we will have another chance."

They've now joined dozens of other families taking legal action against the company.

Attorney Mark Nelson says in addition to his clients who have experienced initial health effects like headaches and eye watering, these women are not alone in their loss.

"We've spoken to a number of other mothers who have also had miscarriages, so I don't think it's any coincidence at all," said Nelson.

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.

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