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Largest Distributor of Laminate Found to have Toxic Levels of Formaldehyde?

Does Your Flooring Have Toxic Levels of Formaldehyde? It May If It’s From Lumber Liquidators

CLICK HERE to view the article & video on 60 Minutes website.

If you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of homes in the U.S. with Chinese-made laminate flooring purchased from Lumber Liquidators, the air you breathe – and in turn, your health – may be at risk.

A recent 60 Minutes report unveiled that Lumber Liquidators laminate flooring made in China consists of dangerously high levels of formaldehyde (a known cancer-causing chemical), so high, in fact, that certain labs thought their measuring tools were broken because they had never seen levels that high. At this time it seems US-made laminate flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators does not exceed dangerous levels.

The discovery was first made in California, where that state’s CARB2 standards make it illegal to sell flooring beyond a certain level of formaldehyde. Every laminate flooring sample tested from Lumber Liquidators failed to meet these California standards, many by a large margin (up to 20 times the level allowed to be sold). This, despite these Chinese-made laminates being labeled as CARB2 compliant. In fact, undercover reporters from 60 Minutes discovered that the 3 Chinese mills that provide Lumber Liquidators with its laminate flooring knowingly and egregiously labeled these products as CARB2 compliant.

This CARB2 standard is the framework that the U.S. Congress has used to create its national Formaldehyde Standards Act, which should take effect later this year.

Beyond California – this health issue is nationwide

Lumber Liquidators is the largest retailer of flooring in the country, with 360 stores in 46 states, and revenues exceeding $1 billion. Every year, 100 million square feet of laminate flooring is installed in US homes.

With this kind of reach, it’s no wonder that 60 Minutes wanted to test Lumber Liquidators outside of California. They purchased 31 boxes in all, from stores in Virginia, Florida, Texas, Illinois and NY. Only one, just one, of these boxes was compliant. Some of the boxes consist of formaldehyde levels 13 times the amount allowed by CARB2.

So why would Lumber Liquidators sell you dangerous flooring?

It makes no business sense to sell flooring that poses risks to the customer … or does it? Even the Chinese millworkers in China admitted to the reporters posing as customers that they could offer CARB2 Compliant flooring, except the issue is the price.

In fact, by using formaldehyde-high laminate flooring, 60 Minutes suggests Lumber Liquidators can reduce its cost by 10%, which equates to hundreds of millions of dollars.

When presented with this information, and the undercover video of his Chinese millworkers admitting to falsely labeling products, Lumber Liquidators Chairman and Founder Tom Sullivan said if the accusations were true, he’d be appalled. He also stated (prior to seeing the damning undercover video) that the methodology 60 Minutes used to test his flooring was not valid, and that his company was not required to test their finished product.

Of course, by not testing his finished product, he’s (whether unknowingly or not) been selling flooring that is known to cause health issues, even in low levels, such as:

Why does laminate flooring need formaldehyde in the first place?

Formaldehyde is found in cheap glues in factories in China. It’s in the glues used to bind wood particles, which create the core board in laminate flooring. The top of the laminate flooring tends to trap most of the chemical inside, but some will leak into the air.

How much is leaked – and inhaled – depends on two factors:

Since the 60 Minutes report, Sullivan has added a video to his company’s site, focusing on the safety of his flooring. However, what about the hundreds of thousands of homeowners in the country who already have this flooring installed, flooring that was falsely labeled as safe? Will Lumber Liquidators pay for the removal and replacement of this flooring?


When it comes to flooring, price does matter

Laminate is a popular type of flooring because it’s an affordable alternative to hardwood and tile, and with today’s technology, it can look just like the real thing. Lumber Liquidators is popular because they somehow are able to sell their laminate for bottom-level prices.

Well, it turns out this somehow comes down to one thing: sacrificing your health. When you’re in the market for new flooring, make sure you know where that flooring comes from. If this story teaches you anything, it’s that too good to be true is a reality in the flooring industry. The fact that you can’t even rely on the labeling of a Lumber Liquidators product to be valid should make you think twice before doing business with them.

CLICK HERE to have a Flooring Consultant call you to discuss you flooring options.

We encourage you to call Flooring Brothers at 800-764-4969 learn more about your safe, healthy laminate flooring choices.

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