Popular flooring company Lumber Liquidators is under fire for selling laminate flooring containing unsafe levels of formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, commonly used in embalming fluid and nail polish remover. A recent expose by 60 Minutes found that the manufacturers that provide the flooring to Lumber Liquidators were falsely labeling boxes of non-compliant flooring as safe.
Since the airing of the expose, homeowners throughout California and other parts of the United States are concerned about the safety hazards their floors pose. Gerry Smith, of Morrison, Colorado, has halted her home renovation in the middle of the project. She is hoping for a quick resolution to the issue.
“It’s very frustrating because I’m widowed. I don’t have the time to wait for a class action lawsuit,” she told CBS Denver, “What am I going to do?”
Back in California, Habitat for Humanity and the Ronald McDonald House are concerned about their flooring choices, as well. Lori Pfeiler, CEO of San Diego’s Habitat for Humanity, voiced her concerns to NBC San Diego.
“Kids have asthma, and so the preferred flooring is laminate flooring now a days, and so we want to make sure none of our homes don’t have any of this stuff that has all the formaldehyde in it,” said Pfeiler.
On March 5th, the organization received documented confirmation from their distributor that the flooring they used was safe.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Lumber Liquidators claimed that 60 Minutes did not properly test the flooring and that their suppliers in China confirmed that the products were safety-compliant. Long-term exposure to formaldehyde can cause health problems ranging from respiratory irritation and bronchitis to cancer. People who suspect formaldehyde emissions in their homes are encouraged to ventilate the building as well as they can, beyond just opening doors and windows.
A class action lawsuit was filed against Lumber Liquidators in a California court on March 5th.