CDC/ATSDR Study Raises Cancer Estimates: Formaldehyde in Laminate Flooring

Last week, the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) corrected  its report released earlier this month  causing  the estimated cancer risk from formaldehyde exposure in certain laminate flooring to be greater. The correction occurred because the CDC/ATSDR indoor air model used an incorrect value for ceiling heights.  As a result, the health risks had been calculated using airborne concentrations of formaldehyde about three times lower than they should have been.
In its corrected report, the CDC estimates there could be between 6-30 cancer cases per 100,000 people who were exposed to the formaldehyde contaminated laminate flooring, instead of the previously estimated 2-9 cases per 100,000 people. The CDC report did not name Lumber Liquidators.
Formaldehyde is found in glues that bind wood particles together to make the core boards in laminate flooring.
Formaldehyde is a cancer-causing chemical. Over exposure to formaldehyde can lead to eye, nose and throat irritation, can cause existing respiratory problems – such as asthma and COPD – to worsen, and increase the risk of cancer.
“60 Minutes” Investigation
In March 2015, Lumber Liquidators was the subject of a “60 Minutes” investigation into claims that its laminate flooring made in China does not comply with California Air Resources Board (CARB) emission standards for formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.
“60 Minutes” tested Lumber Liquidators’ flooring bought in Florida, Illinois, New York, Texas and Virginia for formaldehyde levels. Its testing found that out of 31 samples taken, only one was was compliant with formaldehyde emission standards. CBS also found some samples were more than 13 times over the CARB limit.
Terrell • Hogan is representing Florida consumers who are affected by Lumber Liquidators laminate flooring. They may have property damage claims, breach of contract claims, unfair and deceptive trade practices claims, product liability claims, and personal injury claims. When pursuing product liability claims, we consider whether there was a defect in the product or design. We also explore whether a product would be safer without a dangerous ingredient – such as formaldehyde, regardless of whether it meets compliance standards. Another thing we consider is whether the manufacturer provided appropriate warnings or instructions for the product’s use and if the claims are accurate. In the case of certain Lumber Liquidators’ flooring, the “60 Minutes”’ investigation found the company website and the boxes of flooring itself advertised its flooring as being compliant with California Air Resources Board’s Phase 2 formaldehyde emission standards, while some of the flooring it tested was not. If you bought Lumber Liquidators’ laminate flooring, you may have a claim. Contact consumer attorney Leslie A. Goller at (904) 632-2424.


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About The Author

Leslie A. Goller

Leslie A. Goller

Leslie has dedicated her career to championing consumers – whether they were harmed by big corporations, dangerous products, medical mistakes, accidents, or an unsafe environment – no issue is too big for her to tackle. She successfully prevented an incinerator from being built at University Hospital (now UF-Jacksonville), which would have polluted the air with toxic chemicals and obtained significant restrictions of other Jacksonville hospital incinerators resulting in cleaner air.