Fresh on the heels of the Lumber Liquidators laminate flooring controversy involving high levels of formaldehyde, another laminate flooring maker, Ark Floors is facing similar questions about its Chinese-made wood products.
Whitney Tilson, the hedge fund manager who identified formaldehyde in Lumber Liquidators' flooring, hired the same lab - HPVA Laboratories - to run tests on Ark Floors products. Josh Hosen, senior manager of certification programs at HPVA told the paper that those test results showed formaldehyde levels "well above" California Air Resources Board (CARB) standards. Reportedly, Ark bought laminate "from at least two of the same Chinese mills that supplied Lumber Liquidators."
Lumber Liquidators will pay the largest fine ever issued for Lacey Act violations after pleading guilty in federal court to felony and misdemeanor charges related to its importation of some hardwood flooring from China.
Ark Floors, based in California, is a division of Shanghai, China-based A&W Group, one of that country's largest wood flooring companies. In 2012, A&W flooring was taken from China's stores over formaldehyde concerns, the Times reports.
At its website, Ark Floors says its flooring is CARB compliant, noting:
CARB stands for California Air Resources Board, or the 'clean air agency.' This agency has set forth strict regulations on the levels of formaldehyde that can be present in engineered flooring sold in their state. We are proud to ensure that all of our engineered products are Phase 2 CARB compliant, as certified by SGS. [A PDF of the flooring CARB testing is here>>]
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