According to this report on 60 Minutes last Sunday night, Lumber Liquidators is selling laminate flooring with levels of formaldehyde up to 20 times more than permitted by California law—the same standard set to take effect later this year for the rest of the country.
It’s unclear whether Lumber Liquidators is knowingly stocking illegal and toxic products—they claim that the tests 60 Minutes used were flawed and don’t relate to real life use. But the undercover video from Chinese factories, with managers admitting that flooring bound for Lumber Liquidators is mislabeled, is disturbing to say the least—and clearly proves that labels are often unclear and sometimes even wrong.
The good news? Laminate flooring bought at Lowe’s and Home Depot fell under the California thresholds.
So what do you do if you have laminate flooring and are worried about your air quality?
If you recently installed laminate flooring from Lumber Liquidators, check here to see if your flooring is one of those found to have high levels.
Have older laminate? One option is to have your air quality tested to determine the levels of formaldehyde in the air. While testing isn’t regulated and results can be unreliable, this publication from the Consumer product Safety Commission offers great guidance as well as general tips and information on formaldehyde.
The best thing to do right now? Ventilate your home as much as possible. The emissions released into the air from toxins lesson over time, so the more you ventilate your living space, the faster harmful toxins can off-gas. It’s especially crucial to ventilate when a home furnishing or construction product is new.
At WWYW we advise you to keep asking questions about what’s in a product and what standard it meets. Even though in this case the label was wrong and information incorrect, opening a dialogue about a product is by far the best way to start figuring out what’s toxic and what’s not. And join Wellness Within Your Walls as we continue to push for clear information and increased transparency.