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Thousands of Lumber Liquidators customers ask for air test kits

Retailer Lumber Liquidators says it stands by its products and will pay for the safety testing of laminate floors for qualifying customers.
Retailer Lumber Liquidators says it stands by its products and will pay for the safety testing of laminate floors for qualifying customers. AP Photo/Matt Slocum

TOANO, Va. – Embattled hardwood flooring company Lumber Liquidators said Thursday that about 10,000 of its customers have requested in-home air quality test kits, following a TV report that raised concerns over levels of formaldehyde in its Chinese-made laminate flooring.

The company recently offered the free air quality testing program in order to reassure its customers.

Last October, 16×9 first reported about a major lawsuit that claimed some of Lumber Liquidators’ Chinese made laminate floors had unacceptable levels of formaldehyde. The suit claimed the flooring contained three and a half times the levels of American- and European-made floors.

In early March a report on CBS’ “60 Minutes” picked up the story of Lumber Liquidators flooring containing high levels of formaldehyde, a carcinogen.

MORE: 16×9 investigation into formaldehyde use in Canadian hardwood floors

Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc. has said that it complies with applicable regulations for its products, including California standards for formaldehyde emissions.

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In late March, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said that it was investigating the Chinese-made laminate flooring, but could expand the investigation if the agency finds reason to do so. Lumber Liquidators has said that it is fully co-operating.

The company has arranged for an independent testing organization to send test kits to customers who request them. The Toano, Virginia-based company said that once the customer has the kit, it is up to them to follow the instructions provided on how to conduct the test and to mail the completed kit directly to a third-party lab for analysis.

MORE: Think that new hardwood floor is made in Canada? Think again

Lumber Liquidators also announced first-quarter revenue of $260 million. This beat the $258.1 million that analysts polled by FactSet expected.

The company said that its March sales dropped 12.8 per cent from a year ago, to $89.4 million, hurt by the allegations in the TV report.

Lumber Liquidators plans to provide its full first-quarter financial results on April 29.

The company has 356 U.S. locations, as well as several locations in Canada.

WATCH: 16×9’s “Liquidating the Forests” investigates the trail of illegal lumber stolen in Russia, shipped to China and sold in Canada.

 

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