Formaldehyde is a known cancer-causing chemical that can appear in laminate flooring products. Some levels of it are deemed acceptable and don’t pose health risks.
But that’s not the case with Chinese-made laminate flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators, as has been made known to the pubic thanks to a recent 60 Minutes report. With testing proving that some of its laminate flooring contained 20 times the level allowed to be sold in the state of California, Lumber Liquidators was illegally selling flooring that the state of California deemed dangerous. These levels were so high, in fact, that lab technicians questioned whether their machines were acting faulty.
They weren’t. The laminate from Lumber Liquidators really did (and does) contain that much formaldehyde.
It’s not just a California problem
California has a CARB2 standard that prohibits the sale of flooring containing a certain (and dangerous) level of formaldehyde. But that standard will soon be enacted on a national scale, once Congress enacts their Formaldehyde Standards Act later this year (which was modeled after CARB2).
Its existing CARB2 law is what helped bring to light this toxic issue with Lumber Liquidators, but as 60 Minutes discovered, the problem doesn’t just reside in the Golden State. Thirty-one boxes of Lumber Liquidators Chinese-made laminate flooring were purchased from stores in Florida, New York, Illinois, Texas and Virginia. Of the 31 tested for formaldehyde, only one was compliant with CARB2 standards, meaning the other 30 contained flooring that could be harmful to your health.
Thirty-one boxes may not seem like a lot, but consider how widespread Lumber Liquidators is: 360 stores in 46 states, with sales that exceed $1 billion. Hundreds of thousands of homes in the country contain these Chinese-made laminates right now, and these homeowners have no idea their health is at risk.
You can’t trust the label
The formaldehyde-high products are found only in Chinese-made flooring, not the flooring made in the US and sold by Lumber Liquidators. What 60 Minutes discovered is that workers from the 3 mills in China that supply this laminate knowingly mislabel their laminate as CARB2, despite the formaldehyde percentage exceeding the allotted amount.
Low-cost flooring is often-times low-cost for a reason
As Anderson Cooper reported, Lumber Liquidators can reduce its manufacturing costs from 10 – 15% by using a higher percentage of formaldehyde in its laminate flooring. For a multi-billion-dollar company, 10 – 15% equates to millions saved each year.
That millions saved also allows the company to offer customers a cheaper-priced product. But with that reduced cost comes increased health risks, including:
• Respiratory issues
• Eye, nose and throat irritation
Formaldehyde is often found in flooring, particularly in Chinese factories. It’s used in the glues that bind wood particles, which end up becoming the core board found within the laminate. Certain levels of formaldehyde are deemed not harmful, because the chemical is trapped within the laminate. But when the percentage of formaldehyde reaches a certain point, the air you breathe becomes toxic.
With levels as high as what was tested on Lumber Liquidators’ Chinese-made laminate flooring, there is reason to be concerned.
Be sure to find laminate flooring that’s affordable and safe
Lumber Liquidators is an attractive option for many homeowners out there because of its affordability. That’s why it rakes in billions of dollars in sales each year.
But that low price does come at a cost. Most other companies that use respectable and healthy manufacturing processes sell their flooring for more than Lumber Liquidators, and now you know why: Lumber Liquidators’ laminate flooring contains dangerous levels of formaldehyde, which saves them money in operational costs, but can cause you long-term health issues.
At Catalfamo Gallery, we take special care to ensure that the laminate flooring we offer to our customers is made safely and does not contain harmful levels of toxins that can cause health issues to you and your family. Visit our online inventory today to see all of your options for a safer, healthier, family-friendly laminate flooring that you can trust.