The latest case like this involved laminate flooring sold throughout the United States, that was apparently manufactured in China and is alleged to contain many time the allowable limits for formaldehyde. The formaldehyde is used in cheap glues that hold the layers of wood that make up the laminate floor planks.
The trouble with formaldehyde is that it can cause cancer and other respiratory ailments to those who breathe material containing formaldehyde. A potential danger could exist to those who install the flooring, spending all day working with fresh boxes of laminate flooring, which would presumably have the highest concentration of formaldehyde.
Also at risk would be small children, who would spend much of their day crawling around on the floor, in close proximity to the flooring, where the gases from the formaldehyde would be most intense.
For toddlers, crawling requires a lot of effort, meaning they are breathing deeply and frequently. They also would inhale a greater proportion of the chemical than an adult, given their smaller size. In addition, their bodies are still developing and heavy exposure to formaldehyde could have long-term, deleterious effects.
The company stated that the claims are based on faulty testing, but this would not be the first time Chinese building materials have been involved in large class action lawsuits. In the last decade, many homes were built with drywall that was found to be contaminated with asbestos.
While these “cost savings” make help large companies’ greater profits, they can cost individuals dearly.
Forbes.com, “’60 Minutes’ Is Right To Raise Questions About Lumber Liquidators’ Toxic Floors,” Elaine Schattner, March 2, 2015