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The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced it will allow early labeling of compliant composite wood products and finished goods manufactured before December 12, 2017. This follows a consultation period that ended on July 26, 2017, during which no adverse comments were received.

This Direct Final Rule (DFR), published on July 11, 2017, will allow compliant products to be labeled as TSCA Title VI Compliant (Toxic Substances Control Act), at an earlier period than previously envisioned. The EPA states this change will allow labeling to be voluntarily undertaken at an earlier stage, bringing greater regulatory flexibility and facilitating a smoother supply chain transition for complying with the broader themes of the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act. In addition, it will encourage the earlier introduction of compliant products onto the market.

The Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act was signed into law in July 2010 by President Obama, amending the TSCA and directing the EPA to develop regulations for the implementation of the act. The EPA then published a Final Rule for executing the act in December 2016.

The Final Rule included provisions relating to, among other things:

  • Formaldehyde emissions in hardwood plywood composite core or veneer core (HWPW-CC or VC), particleboards (PBs) and medium-density fiberboards (MDFs)
  • Third-party certification programs
  • Incentives for products manufactured from ultra-low emitting formaldehyde resins (ULEF) and no added-formaldehyde-based resins (NAF)
  • Product labeling
  • Accreditation Bodies (ABs) and Third-party Certifiers (TPCs)

The formaldehyde emission standards are identical to those in Phase 2 of the Air Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) to control formaldehyde emissions under the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

As the consultation period elapsed without any negative comments, the DFR was accepted and will become effective on August 25, 2017

SGS CARB Services

Through a global network of Third Party Certification (TPC) laboratories, SGS provides the full-range of services, including certification, analytical testing and consultancy, for formaldehyde emissions in composite wood products for California, the US and worldwide markets. Learn more about SGS’s CARB Services.

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Hing Wo Tsang PH.D

Global Information and Innovation Manager

Tel:(+852) 2774 7420

Email: crs.media@sgs.com

Website: www.sgs.com/hardlines

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