May 1, 2015 — Some Chinese-made laminate wood floors sold by Lowe’s may have a similar issues with formaldehyde levels as flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators, according to a new analysis published by Seeking Alpha.
The allegations against Lumber Liquidators were first raised by Zhou back in June 2013.
At the time, Zhou was a 25 year-old short-seller who became suspicious after noticing Lumber Liquidators’ profits surging. He hired independent labs to test formaldehyde emissions and reported that they were significantly higher than what California allows, despite being marked as CARB-compliant.
Zhou bought a sample of flooring from Lowe’s and had it tested by Benchmark International, the same lab used by 60 Minutes when the allegations against Lumber Liquidators went mainstream.
They found that Lowe’s “FH/L 3603 Chocolate Cherry Hickory” scored approximately 10x the threshold allowable by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
In March, an investigation by 60 Minutes confirmed Zhou’s findings. Once the allegations went mainstream, Lumber Liquidators’ stock plummeted by 50%.
Now, Zhou says flooring from Lowe’s has the same problem:
“Independent tests show that one of Lowe’s floors scores 10x the allowed formaldehyde threshold. To put that in context, 60 Minutes tested 31 samples from Lumber Liquidators; Lowe’s Chocolate Cherry Hickory would have been the third worst of all 31 samples.”