Lumber Liquidators – dangerous levels of the cancer-causing chemical formaldehyde under investigation



The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission confirmed that it is investigating laminate products made by Lumber Liquidators.

In a Wednesday morning teleconference CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye said the agency is “actively investigating” the relevant flooring from the retailer, and that Lumber Liquidators is cooperating.

Kaye said it would take “months not weeks before we can have some sense of the answers” to whether the products are safe. He added that it was still too early to tell if the agency would ask for a product recall.

Formaldehyde (CH2O)

is found in products such as furniture, wall paper, cardboard, and facial tissues. It is also used in some plastics, paints, varnishes, dish washing liquids, fabric softeners, and cosmetics, such as nail polish. It enters the indoor environment through natural sources such as forest fires and certain human activities, including burning tobacco, gasoline and wood. As a result of being in so many common products and so prevalent in the environment, it is present, in its breathable gas form, in virtually all homes and buildings. Studies have suggested that people who are exposed to low levels of formaldehyde for long periods of time are more likely to experience asthma-related respiratory symptoms, such as coughing and wheezing. In higher amounts formaldehyde is known to cause cancer of the nasal cavity.