A recent 60 Minutes report describing an investigation into the manufacturing practices of Lumber Liquidators has revealed that the flooring may contain unsafe levels of formaldehyde. Investigations into the Chinese facilities used by Lumber Liquidators for certain laminate products found that the facilities have been mislabeling the products they manufacture as being compliant with safety standards when, in fact, that is not true. Additionally, California environmental nonprofits and attorneys have been taking a closer look at the flooring installed in homes in that state. As reported by 60 Minutes, those investigations have discovered that the levels of formaldehyde present in the Lumber Liquidators flooring manufactured in China were six to seven–and up to twenty–times the amount of formaldehyde permitted by state safety standards. While there is no equivalent federal standard, the amount of formaldehyde being emitted by the tested Chinese-manufactured flooring is at a level deemed unsafe by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Formaldehyde is a colorless and flammable chemical used in a wide range of products, including pressed woods, preservatives, and glues. The U.S. National Toxicology Program, as well its European equivalent, have determined that formaldehyde is a human carcinogen. Additionally, medical specialists in toxic substances have found that prolonged exposure to formaldehyde can cause chronic respiratory irritation and create a greater risk of developing asthma, especially in children.
It is possible to be exposed to formaldehyde without knowing it. Formaldehyde emits gaseous fumes which, in very open or well-ventilated spaces, are not always harmful to humans, since the gases are not sufficiently concentrated. However, in enclosed homes or offices, the gases are more likely to remain at concentration levels which can cause acute and long-term health effects to those inhaling it. This is especially concerning where young children or infants may be playing on the floor, possibly breathing vigorously, and thus inhaling the gas directly from the flooring in higher quantities. Typically, someone inhaling formaldehyde gas would notice its pungent odor, but if someone inhales the gas regularly, they can become acclimated to the scent and fail to notice it.
Lumber Liquidators has challenged the testing done by 60 Minutes and has produced a report detailing their long history of manufacturing safe products. Lumber Liquidators has also issued kits to individuals who have recently had flooring installed that was manufactured by the company to test air in the home for possible chemical emissions from the laminate. Experts recommend that, if you have recently had laminate flooring installed in your home that was manufactured by Lumber Liquidators, you contact the flooring installers to request assurance that your flooring is safe.
If you are in the Biloxi, Mississippi area and believe you may have been the recipient of possibly unsafe flooring, or if are experiencing symptoms of excessive formaldehyde inhalation, don’t wait to take action. Contact the consumer attorneys at Corban Gunn for a free consultation on your possible legal claim. Ensure that you are fully compensated for the hassle, expense, and possible health effects you have experienced. Call 228.284.6805 to speak to a seasoned personal injury attorney today, from anywhere throughout the Mississippi Gulf Coast and beyond, including Biloxi, Long Beach, Gautier, Harrison County, Jackson County, and statewide.