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Environment

EPA curbs formaldehyde emissions from wood products

by Glenn Hess, special to C&EN
August 8, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 32

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Credit: Shutterstock
Credit: Shutterstock

A final rule from EPA is aimed at reducing people’s exposure to formaldehyde vapors from domestic and imported composite wood products. The rule meets a 2010 requirement set by Congress in the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act, which directed EPA to set national standards. The regulation, which takes effect next year, will require manufacturers to comply with new testing and certification requirements. EPA says it worked with the California Air Resources Board to draft measures that are consistent with the state’s requirements, which were adopted in 2008. “The new rule will level the playing field for domestic manufacturers who have a high rate of compliance with the California standard and will ensure that imported products not subject to California’s requirements will meet the new standard and thus not contain dangerous formaldehyde vapors,” says Jim Jones, EPA assistant administrator for chemical safety and pollution prevention. Formaldehyde is common in wood product adhesives. It has been linked to cancer and respiratory problems in humans.

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