OAKLAND, CA – A lawsuit filed against Lumber Liquidators says Chinese-made flooring sold by the company emits formaldehyde at levels far above permissible CARB levels, requiring cancer warning labels according to California law.
The lawsuit was filed by Global Community Monitor after independent lab results revealed the results of formaldehyde tests. The lawsuit accuses Lumber Liquidators of falsifying information. According to the lawsuit the company claims on its website “all of its flooring comes from mills certified as compliant with California’s standards for formaldehyde.”
In a response to the lawsuit, officials at Lumber Liquidators said the allegations raised are "flat out false."They said the products sold in their stores meet "the highest quality and environmental standards."
"Our product meets relevant environmental standards and undergoes rigorous, independent, third party testing. More specifically, our internal testing and that conducted by third parties concluded that product levels fell well below the Proposition 65 “safe harbor” limits," company officials said.
Company officials said Lumber Liquidators’ products are tested to be in compliance with California law and that the company is transparent about its "quality control and assurance processes."
According to Global Community Monitor's lawsuit, test results showed “average initial formaldehyde exposures over 100 times above the amount allowed to be sold without a warning label under Proposition 65, California’s main toxics law.” The lawsuit says none of the Lumber Liquidator samples that were tested had a warning label on the box, none of the stores where samples were purchased had a Proposition 65 warning, and no warnings were provided at the time of purchase over the internet.
Proposition 65 requires products containing chemicals that cause cancer to carry a warning label if the levels exceed the so-called “safe harbor” level. Formaldehyde, often used in the glue for laminate flooring and other pressed-wood products, can be released in gas form and cause medical problems, including cancer, the lawsuit says.
Global Community Monitor’s lawsuit is the latest issue to plague Lumber Liquidators. In December 2013 a class action lawsuit alleged the company inflated its earnings during a 21-month period by importing illegally sourced lumber in violation of the federal Lacey Act.
In June Toanoa, VA-based Lumber Liquidators says it formalized its compliance and sustainability team as part of an ongoing investment in quality and commitment to responsible sourcing.
Lumber Liquidator's full response to the newest lawsuit is below:
“The allegations in this lawsuit concerning our product are simply flat-out false. Our product meets relevant environmental standards and undergoes rigorous, independent, third party testing. More specifically, our internal testing and that conducted by third parties concluded that product levels fell well below the Proposition 65 “safe harbor” limits. Further, Lumber Liquidators’ products are produced and independently tested to ensure compliance with the low emissions standards set by the California Air Resource Board (CARB). We apply these stringent California standards to products we sell nationwide.
In addition to providing safe, high-quality products, we are transparent about our quality control and assurance processes – for our California customers, we provide Proposition 65 notices on customer invoices and in-store signage.
In short, all of our flooring meets the highest quality and environmental standards – that’s why we sell it, that’s why we use it in our own homes, and that’s why we are a market leader. We will not let factually inaccurate and legally flawed lawsuits filed by a party with a clear financial motive influence our approach to our business or our customers.”
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