In March of 2015, 60 Minutes aired a segment alleging that laminate flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators, the largest flooring company in the U.S. with 360 stores in 46 states, contained levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, that exceeded California emissions standards.
While Lumber Liquidators is a U.S. company – virtually all of their laminate flooring (a very big seller for the company) is made in China.
When the story first broke about the dangers of their product – the company did what so many companies do – they denied there was a safety problem.
Well is there?
For the story, 60 Minutes reported that 150 boxes of Lumber Liquidator laminate flooring were sent to three separate labs for testing. What did they find? Formaldehyde. And lots of it. Test equipment showed that the product “hit the upper limit on the radar gun (at the lab). And they thought it (the testing equipment) might be broken.”
Dr. Philip Landrigan of N.Y.’s Mt. Sinai Hospital, specializes in environmental pediatrics and exposure to toxic chemicals. He reported that the levels found are “not a safe level, it’s a level that the U.S. EPA calls polluted indoor conditions… I would say long-term exposure at that level would be risky because it would increase the risk for chronic respiratory irritation, change in a person’s lung function, increased risk of asthma.”
According to the 60 Minutes report, formaldehyde is known to cause myeloid leukemia and nasopharyngeal cancer at high levels and respiratory issues as well as eye, nose and throat irritation at even low levels.
Just where did the formaldehyde come from? Chinese manufacturers use glues laced with formaldehyde to make the core boards of the laminate flooring. And they use a lot of it.
So what’s the company’s position now?
The company just announced it is pulling all of its Chinese made laminate flooring from its stores… this while the company is facing more than 100 lawsuits seeking class-action status and alleging violations ranging from breach of warranty to false advertising.
If you are ever injured by a defective product, call a qualified Connecticut personal injury lawyer. A knowledgeable and well trained personal injury lawyer can help you fight powerful corporate interests when you’ve been hurt, ensuring that you’re not harassed or abused and that your rights are protected.
For 60 years, the Connecticut personal injury attorneys at RisCassi & Davis have been working hard to protect our clients. Please contact us if we can help you. The consultation is free and there is no obligation of any kind. And – there is no fee or other costs unless we are successful on your behalf.