Lumber Liquidators Agrees to Not Resume Sale of Flooring Due to Formaldehyde Levels

About 614,000 consumers purchased the product from 2011 through 2015

Lumber Liquidators Agrees to Not Resume Sale of Flooring Due to Formaldehyde Levels
Image: NCCC
June 17, 2016

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced that Lumber Liquidators has agreed to not resume sales of laminate wood flooring imported from China that may feature high formaldehyde levels.

The company also agreed to continue conducting a comprehensive testing program as part of a recall program that affects consumers who purchased Chinese-made laminate flooring. In homes where the affected flooring is found to emit elevated levels of formaldehyde, the company will provide any required remediation.

About 614,000 consumers nationwide purchased the product through Lumber Liquidators from 2011 through May 2015. The company suspended the flooring's sale in May 2015 and announced its decision not to sell about the 22 million feet remaining in its inventory. Any future sale, disposal or transfer of the inventory can only take place with CPSC's approval.

The CPSC does not recommend that consumers pull up the laminate flooring installed in their home, which could expose residents to increased formaldehyde levels. Instead, consumers should contact Lumber Liquidators to participate in this testing program.

For consumers found to have elevated levels of formaldehyde in their homes, Lumber Liquidators will contact them for more extensive testing. Based on these test results, Lumber Liquidators has agreed to work with consumers to reduce the formaldehyde emissions levels and improve the indoor air quality of the home. If those efforts are unsuccessful, the company will pay for a certified industrial hygienist to examine the home and propose an additional remedy for the homeowner.

The flooring was the focus of a 60 Minutes segment in March 2015 alleging that certain boards did not meet current California Air Resources Board standards for formaldehyde emission. Shortly thereafter, the federal government began its investigation into the matter.

In cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (NCEH/ATSDR), the CPSC determined that eye, nose, and throat irritation could occur with the higher formaldehyde emitting flooring samples in certain home environments. Irritation can happen in anyone, but is more likely among children, older adults, and people with respiratory issues, such as asthma or other breathing problems. Very high levels of formaldehyde in homes may also be associated with a small increase in cancer risk.

Lumber Liquidators agreed that its future laminate flooring products will be subject to enhanced supplier controls designed to achieve compliance with formaldehyde requirements and any future federal requirements for laminate flooring. Currently, Lumber Liquidators' laminate flooring only comes from North America and Europe.

Consumers should immediately contact Lumber Liquidators to request a free testing kit by calling (800) 366-4204.