Liquidation Corporation Drops Plans to Add Tile Kitchen Flooring
(Lumber Liquidators now has stopped selling certain kinds of bamboo flooring from North Carolina.) Despite the high popularity of bamboo flooring, some flooring professionals and consumers have raised concerns about the questionable environmental impact of using the cool, green floor covering. These worries are heightened by the fact that bamboo grows quickly, and the natural resources surrounding the plant have been severely depleted. Bamboo is fast becoming a major contributor to deforestation. It takes three years for one bamboo plant to grow enough to be used for flooring. Since it is extremely hard to recycle once bamboo has been used, and since manufacturing processes for bamboo products may someday cause its contamination with carcinogens, many experts wonder if the “green” floor covering is actually hazardous to health.
Environmentalists have been sounding the alarm for years. In 1999, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) published a report detailing some of the contaminants found in various flooring made from bamboo. Among those included are pesticides, insecticides, and fungicides. Researchers believe that some of the pesticides and other chemicals pose serious risks to human health. The report concluded that the “high level of concern” over bamboo was likely due to the fact that no protective measures had been taken to contain the chemicals during their manufacture.
The accusations against Lumber Liquidators appear to be justified. At the time of this writing, the company is still selling its Eastern Red Cedar flooring products. The manufacturer has yet to respond to the accusations. If true, this would represent a grave breach of responsibility. If either company refused to respond, or failed to respond after being notified of the accusations, this would constitute negligence on the part of the companies.
While waiting for the lawsuit to go through, Lumber Liquidators is facing an influx of angry customers. One person wrote on the company’s Facebook page, “If you sell toxic chemicals in your house that is unacceptable. Hopefully this won’t be the end of my home life. Best wishes to all.”
Other customers have mailed complaints to the Better Business Bureau about the lack of information the company provided them with. One woman sent in a complaint about a flooring product that she purchased from Liquidators, and which was supposed to be “plywood”, when in actuality it was pine bark. Another customer called to complain about not receiving the flooring material in a box. When told that the wood in question was bamboo, and could only be delivered in a truck, the caller wanted to know why. Answer: “We do not sell log type products to you.”
While the lawsuits and consumer complaints continue, Liquidators will most likely have to change their ways. After all, this is big business. And as such, they cannot afford to get in the way of a potential customer. But for now, at least, Liquidators appears to be standing their ground. There will be more lawsuits, and more questions, but the company appears to be prepared for whatever comes their way.