Our firm is investigating class action lawsuits involving flooring products manufactured by Floor & Décor. Some reports indicate that certain Floor & Décor flooring products may contain excessively high levels of formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen.
If you or someone you know has purchased any Floor & Décor flooring products, contact Parker Waichman LLP today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation.
Floor & Décor Flooring May Contain High Levels of Formaldehyde
Floor & Décor markets its flooring products as being in compliance with the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act Disclosure, which involves, in part, protecting human rights via “the elimination of slavery and human trafficking from product supply chains.” Floor & Decor also promises “a great shopping experience” a “large in-stock selection of tile, wood, stone, and related tools and flooring accessories”; great prices; and products that are purchased from “the source worldwide.”
What Floor & Décor has failed to disclose are potential unsafe levels of formaldehyde used in their wood flooring products. Formaldehyde is a volatile organic compound (“VOC”), meaning that, at room temperature formaldehyde is released in gas form. In wood flooring materials, formaldehyde may be released into the air in a process known as “off-gassing.”
According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), pressed-wood and wood-based products may be “a significant formaldehyde source.”
Formaldehyde Tied to Significant, Life-Threatening Injuries
The National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer classify formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen. The agencies indicated that formaldehyde is linked to adverse effects, such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, even during short-term exposure. Because formaldehyde is considered so dangerous, a variety of laws have been put in place to limit its exposure.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) describes formaldehyde as being classified as a known human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and also indicates that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen.
Research of workers exposed to formaldehyde reveals a potential tie between formaldehyde exposure and some cancers, such as leukemia and nasopharyngeal cancer. Symptoms of formaldehyde exposure typically lead to:
- Burning eyes
- Nose and throat irritation
- Joint pain
Laminate Flooring and Formaldehyde
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicates that “laminate wood flooring is likely to contain some formaldehyde.” While the EPA minimizes the danger of formaldehyde in laminate flooring products, indicating that “formaldehyde emissions from these products have been reduced 80-90 percent from levels in the 1980s” and before due to state mandated and national voluntary standards. The agency does note that “formaldehyde emissions are highest when products are new,” adding that the off-gassing diminishes with time.
The attorneys at Parker Waichman strongly believe that consumers should not be exposed to carcinogens in their homes, at any levels, especially in homes in which young children, whose bodies are developing, play and crawl on the floors.
National formaldehyde emission standards for composite wood flooring, such as laminate flooring, are not yet in place. The EPA has been tasked by Congress to develop regulations and to implement the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act, specifically, Title VI of the Toxic Substances Control Act. The EPA proposed its rules in June 2013 to implement national formaldehyde emissions standards for an array of composite wood products, including both testing and third-party certification requirements, as well as record-keeping and labeling mandates, for products that include hardwood plywood, particleboard, and medium-density fiberboard. The agency indicates that it intends to finalize the rules by late 2015. Until then, no national standards exist for formaldehyde in composite wood products, such as laminate flooring.
Under the proposed regulations, laminate flooring that is considered a so-called “laminated product” would be subject to testing and certification. Laminate flooring that is a hardwood plywood would also be subject to the same mandates. A “laminated product,” according to the EPA, is manufactured “by attaching a wood veneer with a formaldehyde-based resin to a composite wood platform.”
Current California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations indicated that laminated products must be manufactured with platforms certified to be in compliance with the applicable emissions standard; however, no formaldehyde emissions standards apply to the laminated product.
Legal Questions for Floor & Decor Flooring Customers
If you or someone you know purchased flooring distributed by Floor & Decor, you may have valuable legal rights. Fill out our online form or call one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today
at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).