Chinese Made Laminate Flooring Sold by Lumber Liquidators Unsafe Due to Formaldehyde?

According to the following report which appeared on 60 Minutes on March 1, 2015, Lumber Liquidators’ Chinese-made laminate flooring contains amounts of toxic formaldehyde that may not meet health and safety standards.

http://www.cbs.com/shows/60_minutes/video/A3GckRjCT6fZltzjt0BH8GKM0nGZJ8cw/lumber-liquidators-linked-to-health-and-safety-violations/

Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen that is added to the production of some wood flooring products. This Tech Tip video from the Indoor Air Quality Association (http://iaqa.org), discusses regulations related to formaldehyde emissions from wood flooring products.

I do not recommend anyone make a decision, or come to any conclusion, regarding any laminate flooring purchased from Lumber Liquidators based solely on the 60 Minute report, or the video from IAQA. I will post additional information concerning this flooring as it becomes available.

If you have any questions concerning testing for formaldehyde, or indoor air quality issues, please call 944-7425.

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28 Responses to Chinese Made Laminate Flooring Sold by Lumber Liquidators Unsafe Due to Formaldehyde?

  1. Jay Otis says:

    What Lumber Liquidators Flooring Is Affected?

    According to a lawsuit filed by Global Community Monitor, the affected flooring includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    8 mm Bristol County Cherry Laminate Flooring
    8 mm Dream Home Nirvana French Oak Laminate Flooring
    12 mm Dream Home Kensington Manor Antique Bamboo Laminate Flooring
    12 mm Dream Home St. James Oceanside Plank Bamboo Laminate Flooring
    12 mm Dream Home Kensington Manor Warm Springs Chestnut Laminate Flooring
    15 mm Dream Home St. James Sky Lakes Pine Laminate Flooring
    12 mm Dream Home Ispiri Chimney Tops Smoked Oak Laminate Flooring
    12 mm Dream Home Kensington Manor Imperial Teak Laminate Flooring
    12 mm Dream Home St. James Vintner’s Reserve Laminate Flooring
    12 mm Dream Home Kensington Manor Cape Doctor Laminate Flooring
    12 mm Dream Home St. James Cumberland Mountain Oak Laminate Flooring
    12 mm Dream Home Ispiri Americas Mission Olive Laminate Flooring
    12 mm Dream Home Kensington Manor Glacier Peak Poplar Laminate Flooring
    12 mm Dream Home Kensington Manor Golden Teak Laminate Flooring
    12 mm Dream Home Kensington Manor Handscraped Imperial Teak Laminate Flooring (SKU 10029601)
    12 mm Dream Home Kensington Manor Handscraped Summer Retreat Teak Laminate Flooring
    12 mm Dream Home Kensington Manor Sandy Hills Hickory Laminate Flooring
    12 mm Dream Home Kensington Manor Tanzanian Wenge Laminate Flooring
    8 mm Dream Home Nirvana Royal Mahogany Laminate Flooring
    12 mm Dream Home St. James Blacksburg Barn Board Laminate Flooring
    12 mm Dream Home St. James Brazilian Koa Laminate Flooring
    12 mm Dream Home St. James Golden Acacia Laminate Flooring
    12 mm Dream Home Ispiri Poplar Forest Oak Laminate Flooring
    12 mm Dream Home Kensington Manor Fumed African Ironwood Laminate Flooring
    12 mm Dream Home St. James African Mahogany Laminate Flooring
    12 mm Dream Home St. James Chimney Rock Charcoal Laminate Flooring
    12 mm Dream Home St. James Nantucket Beech Laminate Flooring

    • Helen Evans says:

      Jay,
      We bought Dream Home flooring from LL in Sept. 2014. Our type, Kensington Manor Rio Grande Valley, is not on that list.. Our box says, “Made in USA”… Just need to know if our flooring came from China and is possible under this concern for formaldehyde… We can’t find any information on WHICH Dream Home products are made here in the US. As far as my google research, non of the Dream Home products are made here which make me beg the question… Why does it say, “Made in the USA?” False advertisement!!!

      • Jay Otis says:

        Helen,

        Did you request in writing that Lumber Liquidators confirm where the flooring was made? If so, what was its response?

      • Damon says:

        I also purchased Kensington manor rio grande oak flooring from lumber liquidators in 2014. I was wondering if you were able to get verification of where it was made and whether it had high levels of formaldehyde. Thank you

        • Jay Otis says:

          Damon,

          Please refer to the comment dated March 11, 2015 for a list of the flooring in question. I do not know if the list has been updated. I recommend you contact Global Community Monitor to see if it can assist you in determining if your flooring is on the list.

  2. Jay Otis says:

    Here is a link to the website for EMSL lab which can test laminate flooring for formaldehyde. I have heard of the lab, but I have no first hand experience with it:

    http://www.emsl.com/index.cfm?nav=Pages&ID=563

  3. Jay Otis says:

    Lumber Liquidators Response

    Lumber Liquidators has denied the allegations that some of the laminate flooring it sells, or sold, which was manufactured in China has unsafe levels of formaldehyde. Here is a link to a page on its website which addresses the allegations:

    http://www.lumberliquidators.com/sustainability/health-and-safety/

  4. Stephen says:

    Cant even imagine the bombshell this has created for Lumber Liquidators, that kind of press gets lawyers smelling dollars and cents. The biggest problem with that is its an import from China where there are no to little regulations. Americas hunger to buy, spend remodel makes it impossible to go strictly American especially with people wanting to get the best deal.

    • Helen Evans says:

      Stephen,
      My husband and I thought we were buying American made products. It says, “Made in the USA” right on our boxes. ?????

    • Stephen says:

      Wow cant believe the ramifications of all this, what a nightmare.

      • Jay Otis says:

        Stephen, wow indeed. I checked the Lumber Liquidators website and I did not see anything about the free testing referred to in the news articles I read yesterday.
        I will continue to update this blog as I obtain additional information.

  5. Jay Otis says:

    Lumber Liquidators Application For Free Formaldehyde Test Kit

    Following up on an earlier comment, here is a link to the Lumber Liquidators website with the online form to see if you qualify for a free test kit to determine the level of formaldehyde in your home.

    http://www.lumberliquidators.com/sustainability/health-and-safety/#testkit

  6. Jay Otis says:

    Updated Information from the California Air Resources Board

    The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has published updated information for consumers concerning flooring made with composite products. You can find the information at the following link:

    http://www.arb.ca.gov/html/fact_sheets/composite_wood_flooring_faq.pdf

  7. Jay Otis says:

    How to Test Flooring For Compliance With CARB 2

    The official methodology – or “SOP” – for analyzing formaldehyde emissions in finished goods required by CARB is published on its website. Here is a link to the website which describes what must be done to “deconstruct” a sample of the flooring so it can be tested:

    http://www.arb.ca.gov/toxics/compwood/outreach/compwood_sop_fg_decon_091313.pdf

  8. Jay Otis says:

    Test Kits Provided by Lumber Liquidators

    The free test kit offered by Lumber Liquidators is the IAQ Formaldehyde Screen Check which is manufactured by Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory. EDLab will also analyze the test kits. According to the lab, it has already sent out 3,000 to 5,000 of the test kits to Lumber Liquidator customers.

    Here is the link to the Lumber Liquidators website if you want to see if you qualify for a free test kit.

    http://www.lumberliquidators.com/ll/testkit

  9. Jay Otis says:

    Testing for Formaldehyde

    The test kits offered by Lumber Liquidators have started to arrive. I have not spoken to anyone who has used one of the kits and sent it in to be analyzed. I expect to be collecting air samples shortly from several homes where laminate flooring from Lumber Liquidators was installed. I hope to do so at the same time the home owners use the test kits paid for by Lumber Liquidators so the test results can be compared.

    I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has used one of the test kits provided by Lumber Liquidators.

  10. Jay Otis says:

    EPA Q & A on Formaldehyde in Composite Wood Products

    The EPA has issued an informative Q & A regarding formaldehyde in composite wood products, including laminate wood flooring. Here is a link to the Q & A:

    http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-03/documents/formaldehyde_questions_and_answers3.pdf

  11. Cheryle says:

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Cheers!

    • Jay Otis says:

      Cheryle, I have never had to remove someone from the auto notification. I will try to remove you, but I wonder if there is a way for you to remove the request for the notifications.

  12. Jay Otis says:

    Update to CBS 60 Minutes Story on Formaldehyde Levels in Lumber Liquidators Laminate Flooring Made in Chine

    http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/lumber-liquidators-update-2/

  13. Dan Kelley says:

    In November 2015 we bought a Manufactured Home in Santa Maria CA. It already had Laminate Flooring installed. But I do not know if it was purchased at Lumber Liquidators or not. The name is HANDSCRAPED Laminate Flooring, Random Length. The complete box that was left behind doesn’t list where it was made. It does have 12.3MM Random Length and AC3 CLASS 23/31 o the label. Can you tell me if this is one of the types that has Formaldehyde?

    • Jay Otis says:

      Dan,
      Dan,

      I do not know if the information you have is enough to determine if the floorng at your house is on the list. Did you read the list of flooring included in the comment I posted on March 11, 2015? Also, did you contact Lumber Liquidators to see if it can help determine if who manufactured the flooring?st. You may want to check with Global Community Monitor which filed a class action lawsuit against Lumber Liquidators to see if it can help answer your question. Best of luck.

  14. Kristy says:

    My flooring from LL is Nirvana brand but the box says “made in Austria” Is there a concern about it?

    • Jay Otis says:

      Kristy,

      The Nirvana flooring made in Austria is not on the list I am familiar with. However, I do not know if the list hads been updated recently. You may want to check with Global Community Monitor which filed a class action lawsuit against Lumber Liquidators to see if it has an updated list of the flooring. Please refer to my post on 3/11/15 for information regarding the lawsuit. If I obtain an updated list I will post it. Best of luck.

  15. Jennye Snider says:

    Is all of the Dream Home St. James Collection laminate made in China?
    After purchasing only 6 months ago, I am having health issues & I believe it may be the flooring.

    • Jay Otis says:

      Jennye,

      I do not know if all of the Dream Home St.James Collection was made in China. If you still have any of the boxes the flooring came they will state where it was manufactured. If not, I recommend you contact the store where you purchased the flooring to see if it can determine where the flooring was manufactured. Also, you may want to contact Global Community Monitor which filed a class action lawsuit against Lumber Liquidators to see if it can help answer your question. Please refer to my post on 3/11/15 regarding the lawsuit. If you are experiencing health issues which you think may be related to indoor air quality I recommend you contact a local IAQ professional to discuss testing the air in your home. Best of luck.

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