Health and Safety

Important: Air Quality Test Kit Information Below

Recently some questions have been raised about our laminate products. Let me make one thing very clear – our laminate products, all of our products, are 100% safe.

These attacks are driven by a small group of short-selling investors who are working together for the sole purpose of making money by lowering our stock price. They are using any means to try and scare our customers with inaccurate allegations. Their motives and methods are wrong and we will fight these false attacks on all fronts.

Read Tom’s letter about recent media allegations ›

Our Commitment to Safety

Lumber Liquidators’ products are safe and meet the highest quality and environmental standards. That’s why we sell these products, why we use them in our own homes and why we are a market leader. As consumers ourselves, we are committed to delivering safe and long-lasting products to our customers. Our commitment begins with meeting the most stringent environmental and quality standards. These standards ensure that our products are safe, meet all government requirements, and are approved by government-approved third-party validators.

This commitment to quality and safety extends to everywhere we do business. We require that all of our suppliers comply with California’s advanced environmental requirements, even for products sold outside California.

Emissions and Manufacturing Processes

Lumber Liquidators has made—and will continue to make—significant investments to enhance our products and our operations including independent, state-certified verification of product performance and the development of a state-of-the art lab (the flooring industry’s first technical facility to conform to California standards).

Lumber Liquidators offers many types of flooring. Like other flooring retailers, some of these options may utilize glues containing formaldehyde which can also be found in other fabricated household items such as paneling, cabinetry, and furniture. Formaldehyde, which exists naturally in the environment, is also found in permanent press fabrics, bath oils, bubble bath, and an array of cosmetics, deodorants, fingernail polishes and shampoos. Our commitment to the health and safety of our customers includes meeting or exceeding industry standards on formaldehyde emissions through compliance with applicable regulations such as those established by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

What is CARB?
The California Air Resources Board, or “CARB”, has developed regulations that require composite wood products offered for sale in California — or incorporated into finished goods that are offered for sale in California — be manufactured in accordance with strict standards for formaldehyde emissions. Those regulations are often referred to as the CARB standards.

What products do the CARB standards apply to?
The CARB emission standards apply to certain components of most laminate and engineered flooring and accessories. The CARB regulation does not apply to the Lumber Liquidators manufacturing process or to the finish applied to solid hardwood flooring (including Bellawood), solid bamboo, or vinyl flooring.

Does Lumber Liquidators comply with CARB regulations?
Yes. To comply with the CARB standards, applicable laminate and engineered flooring and accessories sold by Lumber Liquidators are purchased from manufacturers whose production methods have been certified by a Third Party Certifier approved by the State of California to meet the CARB standards; or from suppliers who source composite wood raw materials only from certified manufacturers. The scope of the certification by the Third Party Certifier includes the confirmation that the manufacturer has implemented the quality systems, process controls, and testing procedures outlined by CARB and that their composite wood products conform to the specified emission limits. The Third Party Certifier also provides ongoing oversight to validate the manufacturers’ compliance and manufacturers must be periodically re-certified.

How is our testing different than 60 Minutes?

60 Minutes used an improper test method in its reporting that is not included in California’s regulations and does not measure a product according to how it is actually used by consumers. 60 Minutes used a “deconstructive test,” which would be like testing the emissions of a car by removing the catalytic converter and muffler. In contrast, we perform California Air Resource Board (CARB) testing on the fiberboard core and A SECOND ROUND OF TESTING on the finished product.

For more information, read the following:

Our Emission Results

Data includes independent testing of samples from Lumber Liquidators’ suppliers located in China. Click to enlarge.

Lab Results
Lab Results

Our Compliance Program

Lumber Liquidators employs a rigorous 9-step compliance program to help ensure that our products are safe. These steps include:

1. Supplier Agreements: All of our suppliers must sign agreements that they comply with all applicable regulations, including the CARB regulations, and Lumber Liquidators’ Supplier Reference Manual;

2. Supplier Due Diligence: We perform extensive research on each supplier and create a unique supplier profile for each that contains detailed information about their operations such as raw material sourcing, adhesive types used, and quality control procedures;

3. Verification of Supplier Certifications: We obtain Third-Party Certifier certificates, as noted earlier, to verify supplier claims, and classify suppliers as manufacturers or fabricators, each requiring specific reviews for their respective types of operations;

4. Initial Product Testing: We perform preliminary tests on supplier samples and will not qualify a supplier if CARB regulations or Lumber Liquidators’ own requirements are not met;

5. Supplier Audit: We audit a supplier’s ability to comply with applicable laws, which often includes an on-site factory audit and/or a desk audit of a supplier’s operations and capability to meet regulatory requirements;

6. Initial Purchase Qualification: We conduct a formal “preliminary purchase decision” step in which we review all audit results and other materials collected to-date and then decide whether to move forward with a purchase on a preliminary basis only;

7. Initial Shipment Inspection/Test: We test the initial shipment or first lot sent and confirm that the products comply with all requirements. Lumber Liquidators also sends samples from initial shipments to independent third-party testing labs to monitor compliance;

8. Quarterly Reviews: We conduct a quarterly review of each supplier and product group to monitor compliance with all legal requirements and Lumber Liquidators’ own stringent quality control standards, which includes third-party lab testing;

9. Periodic/Random Audits: We conduct periodic, random audits of suppliers that include reviews of certificates, invoices, and operational records.

As part of our robust Quality Assurance program, Lumber Liquidators maintains lab facilities in the U.S. and Asia capable of performing full-scale product evaluations and testing. To support our ongoing commitment to product quality and compliance, we built a new 1,500 square foot technical facility as part of our East Coast Distribution Center construction effort. The new facility allows us to expand our technical capabilities to include ASTM D6007 formaldehyde emission chambers correlated directly with a CARB-approved Third Party Certifier – a first in the retail flooring industry.

Lumber Liquidators also conducts vendor training to help ensure that our suppliers fully understand all requirements. This training is conducted onsite at international locations, via online courses and through our vendor seminars. In August 2013 and 2014 approximately 40 companies attended our training sessions in China each year. To our knowledge, none of Lumber Liquidators’ peer wood flooring or home improvement companies, nor any furniture companies, has a similar CARB training program for their suppliers.

What else is Lumber Liquidators doing to ensure health & safety?
Though CARB applies only to products sold in California, Lumber Liquidators requires all suppliers delivering products containing composite wood components to comply with CARB requirements regardless of whether we intend to sell the products in California or any other state or country. Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has drafted national standards for composite wood products that are similar to the CARB standard, those standards have not yet been enacted. Until that time, Lumber Liquidators believes that applying the rigorous California standard throughout North America is the right thing to do.


Air Quality Test Kit

To reassure our customers, we are providing indoor air quality testing at no cost to qualifying customers as the fastest, most effective way to measure the total level of formaldehyde in the home. The testing is being administered and the results produced by an independent, accredited lab. The customer is in control of the process, with clear instructions on the test and its results. We will conduct an in-depth evaluation of air quality and potential formaldehyde sources for any customer whose results are inconclusive or above established thresholds. Our customer care team will work with our valued customers throughout the process.

The home test kits are being provided as a step for customers with our laminate floors to help reassure them that their floor as installed is safe. Please fill out the form found at the link below to determine if your floor qualifies for the free test kit. If your floor does qualify, you will be walked through the process of ordering the test via an independent lab.

Does my floor qualify?

A Fair & Safe Workplace

Lumber Liquidators is committed to being a positive force in the communities in which we, and our suppliers, operate. To that end, we support the eradication of child labor, the elimination of human trafficking and the adherence to applicable laws governing the employment of workers. We believe that implementing high standards for worker health and safety leads to higher-quality products and reduced costs both for us and our customers.

  • We emphasize our commitment to labor requirements with our personnel and we train our employees who are involved in our supply chain about our environmental and social responsibility policies and the identification and mitigation of risk.
  • Each of our employees agrees to abide by Lumber Liquidators’ Code of Business Conduct and Ethics (a copy of which is available on our Investor Relations webpage) and comply with applicable law, including those that relate to employment practices.
  • We exercise an open door policy for employees to report any issues to their supervisors or human resources department.
  • We maintain a whistleblower hotline via both telephone and internet which permits employees to anonymously report any issues or concerns that they may have. The hotline information is posted in all of our locations as well as on our intranet.
  • With regard to our supply chain, we have formalized our expectations regarding supplier labor and health and safety policies in a “Supplier Code of Conduct with Respect to Environmental and Social Responsibility,” which includes a “Supply Chain Environmental and Social Responsibility Policy.” Those policies require, among other things, that our suppliers comply with all applicable labor and employment laws, rules and regulations wherever they do business. Further, the policies expressly prohibit our suppliers from using child labor and forced labor.
  • Each of our suppliers is required to comply with our supplier code of conduct. Moreover, the terms and conditions which govern the purchase orders that we issue for products require that our suppliers represent and warrant that they are in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations including those relating to labor and employment. We have the contractual right to cancel any purchase orders and cease doing business with any supplier that fails to adhere to such laws and regulations.
  • Over the years, we have worked directly with a select group of vendors and mills with whom we have cultivated long-standing relationships. We often pay announced and unannounced visits to our suppliers’ mills and forests and assess their adherence to our code of conduct and its protocols concerning labor as well as health and safety matters. In many cases, we visit potential suppliers to assess their ability to comply with our environmental and social policies prior to ordering products from them. We also engage third-party auditors or verifiers to evaluate and address the risks relating to supplier compliance with our standards regarding labor and employment practices.
  • In the event we learn that any employee or supplier has engaged in behavior that has violated our policies, we would take appropriate remedial action. Such action may include training, increased auditing, disciplinary action, termination of the relationship, and/or reporting to the relevant authorities.