CDC: Cancer Risk From Flooring 3 Times What We Thought

Lumber Liquidators' stock dives after revised CDC report on formaldehyde levels
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2016 11:17 AM CST
CDC: Cancer Risk From Flooring 3 Times What We Thought
In this March 12, 2015, file photo, a man walks past a Lumber Liquidators store in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

A certain type of laminate flooring made by Lumber Liquidators may up the risk of cancer, and the company's stocks are taking a beating, CNNMoney reports. Shares fell by up to 24% Monday morning, per Bloomberg and Reuters, after the CDC issued a revised report that found health effects from the formaldehyde in unnamed floor samples from China include increased risk of respiratory issues such as asthma or eye, nose, and throat irritation, as well as an estimated risk of six to 30 cases of cancer per every 100,000 people. The risk for both these issues was upped from an earlier version of the report that used the wrong measurement for ceiling height, which resulted in the formaldehyde concentration in the air coming in at about a third less than it should've been (that earlier report put the risk at two to nine cases per 100,000).

"We sent the report to scientists at several universities and discovered the government forgot to convert feet to meters in some calculations," Anderson Cooper said during Sunday night's broadcast of 60 Minutes, per Reuters. Lumber Liquidators, which stopped selling the lumber soon after last year's 60 Minutes report, says in a statement the CDC's "revised calculation overestimates any potential health risks from these products, and we are encouraged that [the] CDC is seeking a broader review of their conclusions." This isn't the only hit to its reputation: The company recently agreed to settle for $13 million, plus a five-year probationary period, for bringing in wood from forests that serve as home for endangered species, per USA Today. (Most cancer cases are our own fault.)

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