CDC reveals elevated cancer risk in certain laminate flooring
A report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that there is an increased risk of cancer and other health problems associated with exposure to certain laminate floors produced by Lumber Liquidators.
The news sent the company's stocks tumbling early on Monday.
The CDC report noted that exposure to formaldehyde contained in the flooring was higher than original calculated, increasing the cancer risk by about three times from an earlier version of the report.
Overall, the risk is still relatively small. The original report suggested 2 to 9 cases of cancer per 100,000 people and the updated one raised that risk to 6 to 30 cases per 100,000 people.
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The report also noted further health problems, including that "exposure to the range of modeled levels of formaldehyde in indoor air could cause increased symptoms and other respiratory issues for people with asthma and COPD."
Additionally, exposure to "the lowest modeled levels of formaldehyde could result in eye, nose, and throat irritation for anyone."
The health concerns first came to light in March 2015 after a CBS "60 Minutes" report detailed the high levels of formaldehyde coming from laminates made in China for the company.
Months later, the company announced it would stop selling Chinese-made flooring.
Earlier this month, the Justice Department announced that Lumber Liquidators had been sentenced to pay a $13.15 million settlement which included $7.8 million in criminal fines and more than $1.23 million in community service payments. The company also agreed to "a five-year term of organizational probation and mandatory implementation of a government-approved environmental compliance plan and independent audits."
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