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The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has updated its list of standards for formaldehyde emission in composite wood products and clarified a technicality to allow panel manufacturers to correlate their quality control methods to either the large or small chamber. This final rule (83 FR 5340) became effective on February 7, 2018.

SAFEGUARDS | Hardlines NO. 020/18

SafeGuardS composite wood

In October 2017, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Direct Final Rule (DFR, 82 FR 49287 [1]) and a Proposed Rule (PR, 82 FR 49302 [2]) to update a series of voluntary consensus standards that were referenced in the formaldehyde standards for composite wood products regulations. That DFR was subsequently withdrawn following receipt of an adverse comment.

On February 7, 2018, the EPA published a Final Rule in the Federal Register (83 FR 5340 [3]) 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 [4]). This latest Final Rule contains, inter alia, the following important changes:

  • Revising 14 standards (see Table 1) to reflect the latest editions that are in use by the composite wood industry.

  • Updating a technical revision to allow panel manufacturers to correlate their quality control methods to ASTM E1333-14 or, upon demonstrating equivalence, ASTM D6007-14.

  • Clarifying that data generated from December 12, 2016 from a panel manufacturer’s QC test method may be used to certify compliant composite wood products under the TSCA Title VI program until a new annual correlation is required

  • Informing that beginning February 7, 2018, data used to establish correlations must be generated using ASTM E1333-14 or ASTM D6007-14 and the panel manufacturer’s QC approved test method. 

This Final Rule became effective on the date of its publication in the Federal Register. That was February 7, 2018.

Highlights of the list of revised 14 standards are summarized in Table 1.

40 CFR Part 770
Voluntary Consensus Standards Update: Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products
Item New Standard (83 FR 5340) Standard (81 FR 89674) Remark
1 ANSI A190.1-2017 ANSI/AITC A190.1-2002 Structural glued laminated timber
2 ANSI A208.1-2016 ANSI A208.1-2009 Particleboards
3 ANSI A208.2-2016 ANSI A208.2-2009 MDF for interior applications
4 ANSI-HPVA HP-1-2016 ANSI-HPVA HP-1-2009 Hardwood & decorative
5 ASTM D5055-16 ASTM D5055-05 Pre-fabricated wood I-joists
6 ASTM D5456-14b ASTM D5456-06 Structural composite lumber
7 ASTM D5582-14 ASTM D5582-00 Desiccator method
8 ASTM D6007-14 ASTM D6007-02 Small-scale chamber
9 ASTM E1333-14 ASTM E1333-10 Large chamber
10 BS EN ISO 12460-3:2015 BS EN 717-2:1995 Gas analysis method
11 BS EN ISO 12460-5:2015 BS EN 120:1992 Perforator method
12 JIS A1460:2015 JIS A1460:2001(E) Desiccator method
13 PS-1-09 PS-1-07 Structural plywood
14 PS-2-10 PS-2-04 Wood-based structural-use

Table 1

Throughout our global network of third party certification laboratories, we can provide a wide 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 for the US market.


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


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