Confusion and half-truths follow report of excessive formaldehyde in some Lumber Liquidators’ laminate floorsA customer who has seen the 60 Minutes report about unhealthful levels of formaldehyde in certain laminate floors from Lumber Liquidators now is questioning a flooring purchase she was about to make.
“No worries,” her salesman says. “All of our flooring meets California Air Resources Board (CARB) standards for formaldehyde.” He is misleading, but not intentionally.
To assist its salespeople, a national retail group issues an alert to its members that reads: “All of our laminate flooring meets CARB 2 standards.” Another over-simplification.
Most flooring retailers – including those touting “natural” products – have limited understanding of how to gauge a floor’s impact on indoor-air quality. Understanding the evolution of people-friendly products, and keeping up with the ever-changing status of which manufacturer has added a certification and what the certification means, is a specialized field of its own. Compounding the confusion, certifications expire annually.