U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating safety of Lumber Liquidators flooring
Lumber Liquidators said Wednesday that it is cooperating with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in a federal investigation of its Chinese produced laminate flooring. In a statement, the hardwood-flooring retailer said it has “already provided a significant amount of testing and safety information to the agency staff.
“We have been in direct communication with CPSC staff over the past several weeks and expect them to review our products using sound science and test methods that evaluate finished flooring as used in consumers' homes,” Lumber Liquidators said in its statement.
The Toano-based company, the country’s largest specialty retailer of hardwood flooring, added, “It is our firm belief that finished product testing, rather than deconstruction, is the best approach to determine consumer safety. We look forward to working with the CPSC on this matter.”
Two U. S. senators called for the investigation following a report earlier this month by the “60 Minutes” news television show that claimed the company’s flooring produced in Chinese plants contains unsafe levels of formaldehyde, a carcinogen.
Since then, Lumber Liquidators has defended the safety of its products, saying they meet applicable regulations, and the company has challenged the testing methods used by “60 Minutes.”
In a statement on the investigation released Wednesday, CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye said the agency is actively investigating the laminate flooring products from Lumber Liquidators. “The company has been cooperative to date in our investigation and has pledged to fully cooperate throughout.”
Kaye also acknowledged that parents are concerned about the safety of products in their homes. “As a parent of young children, I completely understand and share the strong desire parents and other consumers have to know as soon as possible whether these products present a health risk. We are taking it very seriously and moving aggressively to get the answers that consumers, especially parents of young children, deserve to have.”
He said the work would take some time and “often the science does not provide the clarity we all wish it would. Our work will involve testing of samples as well as consideration of home-based exposure scenarios to consider risks. The science is well developed, but not fully developed on the risks associated with formaldehyde exposure, especially long term.”
In a conference call earlier this month, Lumber Liquidators said it would provide home test kits for customers who purchased its laminate floor made in China to help reassure them that their installed floor was safe. About 1,000 customers have taken the company up on the offer. If tests results from the kit, done by an independent accredited lab, are inconclusive or above established thresholds, the company said it would conduct an in-depth evaluation of air quality and potential formaldehyde sources at no charge to the customer.