When 60 Minutes sent investigators undercover to three Chinese factories that produce laminate flooring for Lumber Liquidators, it exposed excessive levels of the cancer-causing chemical formaldehyde in the glue used to bind wood particles that make up the core of the laminated boards.
[Reposted from the Made in USA Foundation Newsletter | March 2015]
It is illegal to sell laminates in California that exceed the formaldehyde emissions limits set by CARB (California Air Resources Board). The labs found that the highest-emitting Lumber Liquidators product tested released 13 times more formaldehyde than the CARB limits.
In tests commissioned by 60 Minutes, 30 of 31 boxes of the product labeled compliant were not, with some emitting as much as 13 times the CARB 2 limit. The California limits take place nationwide later this year.
"Kinda disgusted really, with what's going on, that they knew about the product," said Michael Balero, the lead plaintiff in a class-action suit against Lumber Liquidators. Balero is ripping out the laminate floor in his home. "They just can't sell this product and get away with it," Balero said.
Lumber Liquidators is still selling the Chinese laminate flooring but is now offering concerned customers independent tests of the air quality in their homes.
If high levels of formaldehyde are detected from the flooring, the company says it will consider replacing it at no cost. Beware of home improvement products that appear to be too cheap. It will cost you dearly in the long run.