EPA Issues Final National Rule to Reduce Formaldehyde Vapors from Wood Products

August 1, 2016 | The Toy Industry Association (TIA) is alerting members that manufacture, import or sell toys comprised of or containing composite wood of a final rule issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce exposure to formaldehyde vapors from certain wood products produced domestically or imported into the United States.

EPA’s final rule, which implements the standards and provisions required under the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act of 2010, applies to hardwood plywood, particleboard, masonite, or similar materials. It is reasonably consistent with California Air Resources Board (CARB) “Tier 2” requirements for composite wood products.

Once the rule is effective in August 2017, all composite wood products that are sold, supplied, offered for sale, manufactured, or imported in the United States will need to be labeled as TSCA “Title VI” compliant and labeled with the name of the manufacturer and date of manufacture, in addition to the already required CARB Tier 2 labeling.  These products include: hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard, and particleboard as well as household and other finished goods containing these products. Records must also be kept for three years (CARB requires two years), and imported products must be accompanied by a TSCA compliance certification as part of import documentation.

EPA is also setting testing requirements to ensure that products comply with those standards, establishing eligibility requirements for third-party certifiers and establishing eligibility requirements for accreditation bodies to be recognized by EPA that will accredit the third-party certifiers. The new rule also includes certain exemptions for products made with ultra-low formaldehyde or no-added formaldehyde resins and new requirements for product labeling, recordkeeping, and enforcement provisions.

For more information regarding the final rule, consult the EPA press release and FAQ document.

Questions from TIA members may be directed to Alan Kaufman, SVP of technical affairs.