The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has completed its evaluation of the safety of laminated flooring imported by Lumber Liquidators from China since 2011. Since the spring of 2015, the federal government has dedicated significant resources to determining if the Chinese-manufactured laminate flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators and installed in homes represents a health risk. 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 (CARB) standards for formaldehyde emission.
On March 25, 2015, CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye announced that the agency had opened an investigation into the matter. CPSC staff purchased samples of the product and contracted with certified laboratories to test for formaldehyde release from those flooring samples reported by 60 Minutes to have the highest formaldehyde emission. CPSC also requested that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (NCEH/ATSDR) evaluate the testing results for possible human health effects from formaldehyde released into indoor air from this China-manufactured laminate flooring. CPSC staff reviewed the ATSDR report and substantially concurred with their findings.
CPSC and ATSDR 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.
Concurrent with the announcement, Lumber Liquidators halted all sales of Chinese-made laminate products and agreed that its future laminate flooring products will be subject to enhanced supplier controls designed to achieve compliance with California formaldehyde requirements and any future federal requirements for laminate flooring.
In May, Clay Barnett, Archie Grubb and Andrew Brashier, lawyers in our firm’s Consumer Fraud and Commercial Litigation Section, joined forces with Anthony Garcia, a Tampa lawyer, to file a class action in Florida against Armstrong Flooring, Inc., and retailer Lowe’s for unlawfully selling formaldehyde contaminated laminate flooring to unsuspecting purchasers. Armstrong, like Lumber Liquidators, imported laminate wood from China without ensuring that the products weren’t contaminated with dangerous levels of formaldehyde. Lowe’s retailed the Armstrong products without performing any due diligence of its own prior to selling them. The Woodworth family of Spring Hill, Fla., are the class action’s named Plaintiffs. If you need more information, contact Clay Barnett at 800-898-2034 or by email at Clay.Barnett@beasleyallen.com.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.