Lumber Liquidators and Formaldehyde
On March 1, 2015 CBS News opened their television show “60 Minutes”, with the following statement. “60 Minutes found that Lumber Liquidators ’ Chinese-made laminate flooring contains amounts of toxic formaldehyde that may not meet health and safety standards”.
According to Forbes Magazine Lumber Liquidators has over 360 stores and is the largest and fastest growing flooring chain in the US. They sell over 100 million square feet of the cheaper man made laminate flooring every year. That may change now that “60 minutes” exposed the unsafe levels of formaldehyde used in the manufacturing of some of their laminate flooring. By April of this year Lumber Liquidator’s stock has fallen 58%
Many of us will remember formaldehyde as the preservative used in our high school biology classes. Formaldehyde however is widely used as a curing agent in many industrial processes to speed up the drying process of processed wood products like plywood, particle board and MDF products (medium density fiberboard).
Formaldehyde is a known Carcinogen
Remember the formaldehyde scare after Hurricane Katrina. When 10,000 FEMA trailers were condemned due to high formaldehyde levels. The formaldehyde had not had sufficient time to dissipate. When confined in the small FEMA trailers in the heat of the Deep South it made them unlivable.
Lowes Home Centers announced on May 1, that it has halted the sale of flooring from the Chinese factory that was pegged in the “60 Minutes” piece. Lowes quickly added that the suspect product had only been sold on line or by special order. It was not sold in any of its retail outlets. We expect a number of other large distributors will be caught up in this potential cancer causing problem. Although samples from Lowes and Home Depot passed the original testing, more testing will likely take place.
But wait it gets better, according to the “Journal of Light Construction” Lumber Liquidators offered free formaldehyde test kits to customers who were worried about their flooring. According to the National Center for Healthy Housing the test kits were inaccurate if not used in strict compliance with the manufacturer’s instructions. The instructions almost certainly confirmed the test would not be valid.
Lumber Liquidators is currently facing over 100 class action lawsuits and that number will certainly grow as more and more people find out about the formaldehyde problem at Lumber Liquidators. Rumors of a Federal investigation and law suit are also circulating.
So if you have laminate flooring from Lumber Liquidators or a client asks about it we recommend you visit our website
check us out at:
the Better Business Bureau
The State of Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations