Representatives from several composite panel producers spoke last week here in support of a national rule adopting the California Air Resources Board’s formaldehyde standards for the entire United States.

The Durham meetings were held as part of a proposed rulemaking process that started last year, when the Sierra Club and others unsuccessfully requested that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adopt the CARB rule as a national standard.

Starting July 1, 2010, furniture retailers and manufacturers selling in California will be required to produce and sell only products that are CARB-compliant.

The CARB rules, which strictly limit the amount of formaldehyde that may be emitted from composites like plywood or MDF, are taking effect in stages starting this month.

For all products made for sale in California that contain composite wood panels – including furniture – panel manufacturers will have to obtain third-party certification from a laboratory saying their facilities produce board that complies with the regulations to limit formaldehyde emissions.

California adopted the rules to limit public exposure to formaldehyde which, according to state regulators, has carcinogenic properties.

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Relevant Nexreg Compliance Links: OSHA MSDS Authoring, CPSC Consumer Label Reviews, Nexreg.