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Formaldehyde Regulation

The EPA is in the process of finalizing a proposed standard to regulate formaldehyde emissions both in homes and in businesses. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen that can lead to concerning health issues such as asthma and leukemia. It is also one of the main ingredients in the glue used in the manufacturing of composite wood products.

The proposed rule would set standards restricting emissions from composite wood products and the derivatives associated with the composite wood industry. This would include products such as hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard, particleboard, and finished goods containing these products. The standards would apply to all of these good that are sold, supplied, offered for sale, or manufactured (including imports) in the U.S.

The rule change has yet to take effect due, in large part, to a disagreement over the potential requirements proposed to enforce the emissions restriction. Chief among the disputed requirements would be potentially costly testing requirement. Critics of the stringency proposed by the rule change contend that the restrictions and testing proposed would cripple the small business owners in the furniture industry.

When the proposed rule change does finally take effect, the requirements put in place would limit the amount of formaldehyde released from wood products. It would also put in place rules that would relax the regulations governing the restrictions if alternative products can be found to replace those with higher formaldehyde contents. For more information regarding this rule change including the reasoning behind the proposal, the effected industries, the potential requirements, and other pertinent information, please follow the link below to the EPA’s website.

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