EPA to Study Formaldehyde | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 86 Issue 26 | p. 26 | Concentrates
Issue Date: June 30, 2008

EPA to Study Formaldehyde

Department: Government & Policy
Exposure to formaldehyde in mobile homes is a concern.
Credit: FEMA
Exposure to formaldehyde in mobile homes is a concern.
Credit: FEMA

EPA has denied a request by the Sierra Club and other environmental activists to adopt nationally a California regulation to limit formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products, which are widely used in manufactured housing. But the agency says it is launching a broad effort to gain a greater scientific understanding of the potential health risks of formaldehyde's use in hardwood plywood, particleboard, and medium-density fiberboard. EPA says it will develop risk assessments on the potential adverse health effects, evaluate the costs and benefits of possible control technologies and approaches, and determine whether regulatory action is needed. The agency says it is taking these actions "in light of information about the hazards of formaldehyde, in combination with the potential for prolonged exposure to potentially problematic levels of formaldehyde by residents in newly constructed housing." Becky Gillette, national formaldehyde campaign director for the Sierra Club, says she applauds EPA's "alternative approach to addressing the challenge of formaldehyde."

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