Chinese flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators may contain dangerous levels of formaldehyde, according to a recent investigative report and claims by homeowners.
A recent segment that aired on 60 Minutes highlighted recent problems with Liquid Liquidators Chinese laminate flooring sold in California, which failed to meet the state’s formaldehyde emissions standards.
Critics say that tens of thousands of homes in the state, and potentially hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses nationwide, may be contaminated with toxic Chinese flooring.
Formaldehyde is a chemical used to manufacture building materials, resins, household products and is used as an embalming agent. It is classified as a probable carcinogen by the EPA and was determined by the National Academy of Sciences to cause cancer in humans.
Common symptoms of exposure to formaldehyde may include respiratory symptoms, eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, chest pain, vomiting and rashes. The chemical has been linked to some forms of cancer and leukemia.
Investigators with a nonprofit group called Global Community Monitor says it tested more than 150 boxes of laminate flooring at various stores around California.
Similar flooring sold at Home Depot and Lowes came back within acceptable levels. Even American-made laminate flooring from Lumber Liquidators tested with acceptable amounts of formaldehyde. However, the investigators indicate that all of the samples of Chinese laminate flooring from Lumber Liquidators exceeded acceptable formaldehyde levels.
Researchers said that, on average, the Chinese-made Lumber Liquidators laminate flooring contained more than six to seven times the state standard for formaldehyde. Some samples contained nearly 20 times the acceptable amount of formaldehyde, the researchers warned.
Lumber Liquidators is defending the quality of its flooring. On its webpage, the company has issued a statement claiming that it’s flooring is safe and legal and posted its own test results indicating that its flooring meets state standards.
“Lumber Liquidators’ products are safe and meet the highest quality and environmental standards. That’s why we well these products, why we use them in our homes and why we are a market leader,” the company’s statement indicates. “Our commitment to the health and safety of our customers includes meeting or exceeding industry standards on formaldehyde emissions through compliance with applicable regulations such as those established by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).”