Lowe’s Accused of Selling Toxic Floors

May 2015 — Seeking Alpha has published a concerning analysis suggesting that some flooring products sold by Lowe’s may have too much formaldehyde.

Soon after the report was published, Lowe’s pulled Tecsun flooring products off the market, according to Bloomberg.

Accusations against Lowe’s were raised by Xuhua Zhou, one of the first investors who made similar accusations against Lumber Liquidators back in June 2013. His report went largely unnoticed until 60 Minutes confirmed that dozens of flooring products had formaldehyde emissions above regulations set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

Now, Zhou says Lowe’s is selling flooring with the same problem. His report included transcripts with representatives from Tecsun who admitted that their products were not CARB-compliant. Even more troubling, they said the problem was widespread.

The investigation found products that had 10X the amount of formaldehyde that is acceptable, but were mislabeled as CARB-compliant. According to Zhou:

“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.”