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Oct. 1 – US: Formaldehyde in Composite Wood Products Legislation

From the Star Gazette:

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) today introduced bipartisan legislation to protect consumers by establishing national health standards for formaldehyde in composite wood products, which would apply to both domestic products and foreign imports.

Formaldehyde is a chemical that is used in many products as an adhesive, bonding agent or solvent.  Most composite wood (made from wood pieces, particles or fibers bonded together with resin) contains some formaldehyde.   Composite wood is used in common household products such as furniture, cabinets, shelving, countertops, flooring and molding.

The Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Act would establish national emission standards under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for formaldehyde in new composite wood products (secondhand products and antiques are exempted)

The standards would match those recently adopted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).  The California standards are being phased in over a three-year period and apply to the sale of new particleboard, medium-density fiberboard and hardwood plywood, as well as any products containing these materials.

Under the proposed federal legislation, by January 1, 2012, these products sold in the U.S. would have to meet a formaldehyde emission standards of about 0.09 parts per million.  Collectively, these would be the toughest standards in the world.

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