After investigators warned about formaldehyde in Tecsun laminated wood flooring, Lowe’s has pulled the products off the market.
Lowe’s Pulls Tecsun Flooring Products Off the Market
Lowe’s, the second-largest home improvement retailer in the United States, has recalled its Tecsun line of flooring, which was only sold online.
Lowe’s spokeswoman Connie Bryant told Bloomberg the company will no longer offer Tecsun flooring as it works to address a controversy over formaldehyde.
Tecsun Building Products, based in the City of Industry, California, contracts with facilities in China to produce low-cost laminated wood flooring products. Lowe’s is its largest customer. By July 2015, Lowe’s expects all of its laminate flooring to come from the United States.
What is the problem?
In May 2015, Seeking Alpha published a report by an analyst who said some Chinese-made laminate wood flooring products sold by Lowe’s had 10X the acceptable level of formaldehyde.
Investigators tested formaldehyde in “FH/L 3603 Chocolate Cherry Hickory” and had it tested by the same lab that 60 Minutes used when similar accusations were made against Lumber Liquidators.
According to the report:
“To put Lowe’s results in context, “60 Minutes” tested 31 samples from Lumber Liquidators and Lowe’s Chocolate Cherry Hickory would have been the third worst of all 31 samples had it been included by “60 Minutes.”
Tecsun Floors Not Compliant With Formaldehyde Limits
The investigators also went straight to the source — China — where they recorded conversations with representatives who were familiar with Tecsun products sold by Lowe’s. The representative was unequivocal about Tecsun’s non-compliance with laws limiting formaldehyde emissions, and also said all customers were non-compliant.
Formaldehyde Flooring Health Problems
Formaldehyde is an ingredient in cheap glues and resins that bind together sawdust particles in the “core” of a laminated wood board. This core is also known as medium density fiberboard (MDF).
Formaldehyde vaporizes at room temperature and escapes from the MDF core into the air over months or years after it is installed in a home. Because formaldehyde is a carcinogen, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has set limits on “acceptable” levels of emissions.
Health problems from formaldehyde may include:
- Eye, nose, and throat irritation
- Skin allergies
- Neurological problems
- And more