Lumber Liquidators is removing all of its Chinese-made laminate flooring in response to allegations that it may contain toxic levels of the cancer-causing substance formaldehyde.
Fallout from “60 Minutes” Report
Lumber Liquidators’ decision to pull the Chinese flooring is among the most significant moves made by the company since a March 1 “60 Minutes” report revealed illegal levels of formaldehyde in some of its products.
Since the repot, Lumber Liquidators’ stock has plunged nearly 60%, and the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has launched an investigation into the company’s activities, according to the Wall Street Journal. Lumber Liquidators is also facing more than 100 class action lawsuits over the formaldehyde content of its laminate flooring.
Ex-FBI Director to Review Lumber Liquidators’ Sourcing Procedures
Lumber Liquidators has hired Freeh Group International Solutions LLC, founded by former FBI director and federal judge Louis J. Freeh, to help review its laminate floor sourcing and compliance policies.
Historically, Lumber Liquidators has sourced most of its laminate flooring from Chinese suppliers, though it has been scaling back over the past several years. In 2014, Chinese laminates made up 13.1% of Lumber Liquidators’ overall sales. That figure dropped to 12.5% during the first 3 months of 2015, and to 10.4% in April.
Formaldehyde Test Results
Also this week, Lumber Liquidators released the initial results of an analysis of about 3,400 formaldehyde test kits it sent to customers who had purchased its laminate flooring. Of the 11,000 tests received, Lumber Liquidators says more than 97% of households had indoor formaldehyde air concentrations that were within World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines of about 0.08 parts per million.
Lumber Liquidators is requesting that customers whose test results came in above these guidelines complete a survey to identify any issues with their kits or other potential sources of formaldehyde in their home. The company noted that formaldehyde levels can be affected by other factors such as cigarette smoke and wood-burning fireplaces.