EPA issues final rule on formaldehyde and composite wood products

National rule consistent with California requirements

Posted August 3, 2016

On July 27, 2016, EPA finalized a rule to reduce exposure to formaldehyde vapors from certain wood products produced domestically or imported into the United States. The agency worked with the California Air Resources Board to help ensure the final national rule is consistent with California requirements for composite wood products.

The Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products Act of 2010 established emission standards for formaldehyde from composite wood products and directed EPA to finalize a rule on implementing and enforcing a number of provisions covering composite wood products.

One year after the rule is published, composite wood products that are sold, supplied, offered for sale, manufactured, or imported in the United States will need to be labeled as TSCA Title VI compliant.

These products include: hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard, particleboard as well as household and other finished goods containing these products.

EPA is also setting testing requirements to ensure that products comply with those standards, establishing eligibility requirements for third-party certifiers, and establishing eligibility requirements for accreditation bodies to be recognized by EPA that will accredit the third-party certifiers. The new rule includes certain exemptions for products made with ultra-low formaldehyde or no-added formaldehyde resins and new requirements for product labeling, recordkeeping, and enforcement provisions.

Formaldehyde is used as an adhesive in a wide range of wood products, such as some furniture, flooring, cabinets, bookcases, and building materials including plywood and wood panels. Exposure to formaldehyde can cause adverse health effects including eye, nose and throat irritation, other respiratory symptoms and cancer.


The OSHA Formaldehyde Standard - Online TrainingJ. J. Keller's The OSHA Formaldehyde Standard - Online Training focuses on the rules and procedures that the OSHA Formaldehyde Standard establishes for working with this potentially dangerous chemical.

 

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