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Lumber Liquidators Laminate Flooring Recalled From Stores Amid Formaldehyde Problems

Amid concerns about the levels of toxic formaldehyde in certain laminate flooring, Lumber Liquidators has announced that it will halt sales for the Chinese-made products. 

In a press release issued on May 7, it was announced that the Lumber Liquidators laminate flooring will be recalled from stores after two two months of criticism and a criminal investigation over the sale of the products.

Lumber Liquidators indicates that initial indoor air quality testing suggests that more than 97% of customers’ homes were within guidelines established by the World Health Organization (WHO) for formaldehyde levels.

Concerns over formaldehyde problems with Lumber Liquidators flooring surfaced after a “60 Minutes” segment last month, which found that products imported from China and sold in California failed to meet the state’s formaldehyde emissions standards.

Some experts suggest 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.

Last week, the retailer announced that the Justice Department is likely to file criminal charges for violations of the Lacy Act, which forbids the import of illegally logged wood.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is also investigating the company. If the CPSC finds that the flooring is unsafe, it could result in a Lumber Liquidators laminate flooring recall.

The company said it has its own special committee investigating the formaldehyde flooring claims. According to the committee’s review, the Chinese flooring suppliers certified the flooring sold to the company and labeled it as compliant with California formaldehyde emission standards.

Lumber Liquidators officials say that the company is now reviewing those certifications, labeling processes and practices of the flooring suppliers. It is also reviewing the allegations and its own policies.

“Despite the initial positive air quality testing results we have received, we believe it is the right decision to suspend the sales of these products,” Lumber Liquidators President and CEO Robert M. Lynch said in the press release. “We will work diligently to meet the needs of our customers and to ensure their satisfaction.”

According to the company’s press release, it began offering the free indoor air quality screening to customers who received the flooring in early March. The testing, conducted by Building Health Check, LLC, with air samples tested by EDLab at Pure Air Control Services, Inc., is looking at more than 11,000 testing kits returned from March through May 1. So far, the company has tested 3,400 kits from 2,600 households and found that more than 97% indicated that air concentrations of formaldehyde were within the WHO guidelines.

Those customers whose tests showed levels of formaldehyde exceeding the guidelines have been notified by the company, according to the press release.

“We developed this testing program to address questions raised by customers about the air quality in their homes,” Lynch said. “Although these tests do not identify the specific source of any formaldehyde emissions, we believe this testing provides valuable information for our customers.”

Last week, similar testing revealed that at least one type of Chinese laminate flooring sold by Lowe’s and imported by Tecsun, also contained high levels of formaldehyde. However. the company almost immediately halted sales of the flooring and says it will do its own testing.

Lumber Liquidators Flooring Lawsuits

Currently, at least 10 class action lawsuits have been filed against Lumber Liquidators over problems with its Chinese-imported flooring in seven different federal districts. However, the number of class action and individual complaints is expected to grow in the coming months.

In March, a group of plaintiffs petitioned the JPML to establish a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) for all lawsuits over Lumber Liquidator laminate flooring problems, which would centralize the cases before one judge to reduce duplicative discovery into common issues, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings and serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and the courts.

Oral arguments over whether to consolidate and centralize all federal Lumber Liquidators class action lawsuits will be heard by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) on May 28, at a hearing in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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. However, the EPA has never passed regulations which set acceptable formaldehyde gas levels for flooring.

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.

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14 comments

  1. Carl and Debbie Reply

    We purchased 878 square feet of Laminate Flooring and it was installed the day before the news broke about the formaldehyde levels. We suspect our levels are way to high, because we are experiencing some of the symptoms listed . We have received no response from Lumber Liquidators and no one has tested our home for the high levels.

  2. Lisa Reply

    Call 1-800-hardwood and ask for a testing kit to be mailed to you.

  3. mark Reply

    All i wanted was a air test kit,i still cannot believe the firewall of BS i recieved from customer service.As a customer w/flooring marked “made in china”on each box, Yes i am on a need to know basis! Its true,the best defence is a good offence. Good luck in your class action lawsuit.

  4. debbie Reply

    We bought 400 sq. feet and have a lot of the symptoms and we knew nothing of a testing kit. Our floor is least than two years old . Would like to know what is happening do we need to take it up replace or what. We have look at other flooring and most of is made in China so what are we to do… Bought some for Sams Club also made in China..I too have also got the run around. From customer service.

  5. Carol Reply

    I purchased a condo from Toll Brothers in 2010 and they put in a new laminate flooring for me. I would like to know what I can do to follow through, if there would be a class action suit, and to whom I might contact. How might I have my floor tested? I am experiencing some of the symptoms listed.
    Carol

  6. Dee Reply

    Do any of you have an ongoing cough?

  7. Fran Reply

    I am glad I found this website! We had Morningstar bamboo installed in our home in July of 2014. During the installation the fumes were noxious but we were told it was normal. Speed forward 1 1/2 years and the floor has blisters/bubbles that burst and emit a sticky, smelly substance. The boards are bowing and cracking in many places. I got the papers from LL to fill out and will go through the “process.” the flooring was $4,000 plus installation. We are so afraid we are not going to get any compensation from LL.

  8. kevin Reply

    I have installed Lumber Liquidators 2 yrs. ago. I installed a lot of flooring throughout my home. I don’t feel any effects at this time, that I know but I know I did breath in lots of dust while cutting, sanding & installing. How’s this going to effect my health in the future?

  9. Tim Reply

    I just purchased Bamboo flooring in 11/ 2015, what should I do?

  10. Tim Reply

    I just purchased Bamboo flooring in 11/ 2015, what should I do?

  11. Sandy Reply

    I have been going to the doctors for all the symptoms from above, not knowing it could be from my floors.

  12. felicita Reply

    purchased 12mm St. James Collection of Stran Bamboo which has been
    recalled due to the high level of formaldehyde in April 2014. We own our home and have laid it in our main living room; dinning room, kitchen, and
    dinning room as well as our office and foyer. It is lifing splitting but our most concern because of my health issue the formaldyhyde which my still exist. we have not laid the remaiing boxes in our bedrooms. please contact me as what are alternatives if any we may have. I services lung problems and use oxygen an do want this to effect my breathing any further. thank you.

  13. Julie Reply

    I am having a hard time to get info about our flooring that we installed in three bedrooms. 7mm Shenandoar Oak Charisma 20 year laminate flooring purchased from Lumber Liquidators in Tallahassee, FL dated 05/17/08 @ 9:37 am. I have called the 800-Hardwood and get nothing. Do I go back to Tallahassee, FL? I would appreciate some advise.

  14. LORRAINE Reply

    have had two tests done on floor thru the test kits from Lumber Liquidators, came back positive they sent out an environmental group to pull up some of the flooring and still have not received the results back yet…. they originally told me three weeks its way over a month and still getting the run around.. with in the time frame of flooring I was tested with having a rare environmental cancer in the blood… and when you call lumber liquidators you still get the run around with no answers back.. Everyone in my home has had cancer and even recently had to put our 6 year old healthy dog down due to environmental cancer..

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