A sign outside a Lumber Liquidators store in Denver.
Photograph by Rick Wilking — Reuters
By Reuters
March 25, 2015

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Wednesday it was investigating Chinese-made laminates used by Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc , after reports that the company’s flooring products had too-high levels of formaldehyde.

Commission Chairman Elliot Kaye said the regulator would test flooring products from Lumber Liquidators (LL) to determine whether they contained levels of formaldehyde, a carcinogen, that could be harmful to human health.

Kaye said the commission is “looking at months, unfortunately, not weeks” to determine the potential exposure, and he said it was too soon to tell whether the levels might warrant a possible recall of flooring products.

Lumber Liquidators said in a statement on Wednesday that it was cooperating with the safety commission and had turned over its own testing and safety information.

Formaldehyde is found in the glue that holds wood particles together in flooring boards. Laminate tops generally cover the boards and trap fumes released from the glue.

Lumber Liquidators came under fire after the CBS “60 Minutes” program claimed that laminates used by the company and made in China had unsafe levels of formaldehyde.

Kaye said the regulator’s probe was focused on Chinese-made laminates used by Lumber Liquidators for now, but the investigation could widen to other products or other companies if necessary.

Lumber Liquidators shares were up 7.8 percent to $31.08 Wednesday morning.

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