May 7, 2015 — Lumber Liquidators has announced plans to stop selling Chinese laminate flooring products amid growing concern about toxic levels of formaldehyde.
The company said it will suspend sales until it completes a sourcing compliance program, according to Bloomberg.
The announcement is a major shift for Lumber Liquidators. For the last two months, the company has vigorously defends the safety of their products.
In contrast, Lowe’s immediately pulled its Tecsun line of Chinese-made laminate flooring on the same day an analyst raised concerns that the product contained too much formaldehyde and was mislabeled as CARB-compliant.
Lumber Liquidators also said today that more than 97% of 3,400 home-testing kits showed formaldehyde air concentrations that were lower than what the World Health Organization considers dangerous to long-term health.
However, those test kits have been scrutinized because they do not check formaldehyde levels in the flooring itself.
Two months ago, after 60 Minutes aired a report accusing Lumber Liquidators of selling Chinese-made laminate flooring with excessive levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.
Lumber Liquidators said Chinese suppliers certified and labeled the flooring as compliant with standards set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Investigators with 60 Minutes recorded conversations with employees at Chinese mills who said the flooring was intentionally mislabeled as CARB-compliant.
Federal regulators are now investigating Lumber Liquidators. The company’s stock has lost more than half its market value this year.