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The US EPA has recently published a Direct Final Rule (DFR) to revise the voluntary consensus standards for formaldehyde emission in composite wood. Unless adverse comments are received, the DFR will become effective on December 11, 2017.

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In July 2010, President Obama signed the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act (the Act) into law. This landmark piece of legislation amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and directed the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop regulations to implement the Act.

Since publication of the Final Rule [1] in December 2016, the EPA has made a number of important changes to the Act. These include, among other things, the following:

  • Permitting early labeling of compliant composite wood products [2]

  • Extending the compliance dates for composite wood [3]

On October 25, 2017, EPA published a DFR [4] to update the references for multiple voluntary consensus standards that were incorporated in the formaldehyde standards for composite wood products final rule of December 2016 (81 FR 89674) [5]. All other standards related to formaldehyde emission standards of the final rule will continue to be incorporated by reference accordingly, and any future versions would be considered in a later rulemaking. The major changes in this DFR, among other things, include the following:

  • Updating 14 standards (See Table 1) to reflect the current editions that are in use by the composite wood industry

  • Allowing the correlation of tests conducted through quality control methods to either ASTM E1333-14 or, upon a showing of equivalence, ASTM D6007-14

Unless adverse comments are received by November 9, 2017, this DFR will become effective on December 11, 2017.

Details of the current and new standards are summarized in Table 1.

Item Current Standard
(81 FR 89674)
New Standard
(Effective December 11, 2017 if no adverse comments)
1 ANSI/AITC A190.1-2002 ANSI A190.1-2017
2 ASNI A208.1-2009 ANSI A208.1-2016
3 ANSI A208.2-2009 ANSI A208.2-2016
4 ANSI-HPVA HP-1-2009 ANSI-HPVA HP-1-2016
5 ASTM D5055-05 ASTM D5055-16
6 ASTM D5456-06 ASTM D5456-14b
7 ASTM D5582-00 ASTM D5582-14
8 ASTM D6007-02 ASTM D6007-14
9 ASTM E1333-10 ASTM E1333-14
10 BS EN 717-2:1995 BS EN ISO 12460-3:2015
11 BS EN 120:1992 BS EN ISO 12460-5:2015
12 JIS A1460:2001(E) JIS A1460:2015
13 PS-1-07 PS-1-09
14 PS-2-04 PS-2-10

Table 1.

Definitions

Item Standard Title
1 ANSI/AITC A190.1-2002 American National Standard for Structural Glued Laminated Timber
ASNI A190.1-2017 Standard for Wood Products-Structural Glued Laminated Timber
2 ASNI A208.1-2009
ANSI A208.1-2016
American National Standard for Particleboard
3 ANSI A208.2-2009
ANSI A208.2-2016
American National Standard for Medium Density Fiberboard for Interior Applications
4 ANSI-HPVA HP-1-2009
ANSI-HPVA HP-1-2016
American National Standard for Hardwood and Decorative Plywood
5 ASTM D5055-05
ASTM D5055-16
Standard Specification for Establishing and Monitoring Structural Capacities of Prefabricated Wood I-Joists
6 ASTM D5456-06
ASTM D5456-14b
Standard Specification for Evaluation of Structural Composite Lumber Products
7 ASTM D5582-00
ASTM D5582-14
Standard Test Method for Determining Formaldehyde Levels from Wood Products Using a Desiccator
8 ASTM D6007-02
ASTM D6007-14
Standard Test Method for Determining Formaldehyde Concentrations in Air from Wood Products Using a Small-Scale Chamber
9 ASTM E1333-10
ASTM E1333-14
Standard Test Method for Determining Formaldehyde Concentration in Air and Emission Rates from Wood Products Using a Large Chamber
10 BS EN 717-2:1995 Wood-Based Panels-Determination of formaldehyde release – Part 2: Formaldehyde release by the gas analysis method
BS EN ISO 12460-3:2015 Wood-Based Panels-Determination of formaldehyde release – Part 3: Gas analysis method
11 BS EN 120:1992 Wood-based panels. Determination of formaldehyde content – Extraction method called the perforator method
BS EN ISO 12460-5:2015 Wood-based panels-Determination of formaldehyde release. Part 5: Extraction method (called the perforator method)
12 JIS A1460:2001(E) Building boards-determination of formaldehyde emission-Desiccator method
JIS A1460:2015 Determination of the emission of formaldehyde from building boards-Desiccator method
13 PS-1-07
PS-1-09
Structural plywood
14 PS-2-04
PS-2-10
Performance Standard for Wood-Based Structural-Use Panels

Throughout our global network of Third Party Certification laboratories, we can provide a range of services, including certification, analytical testing and consultancy for formaldehyde emissions in composite wood products for California, the US and worldwide markets. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

Next step:

Stakeholders are advised to comply with the latest requirements for composite wood products and finished goods under the Act for the US market.

For enquiries, please contact:

Hingwo Tsang
Global Information and Innovation Manager
t: +852 2774 7420

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