WASHINGTON – Proposed formaldehyde rules by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have been published in the Federal Register, paving the way for comments by the woodworking industry and other interested parties.

Formal comments to the EPA’s proposed emissions standards rule and third-party framework rule can be submitted to the EPA through Aug. 9, the end of the 60-day period. Products covered under the rules include those made with particleboard, MDF and hardwood plywood.

The EPA announced the proposed formaldehyde rules on May 29.

Identical to emission standards currently in place in California, the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act, also known as Title VI of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), applies to products sold, supplied, manufactured and imported in the United States. The proposal limits formaldehyde emissions from composite panels and finished goods and establishes provisions for laminated products, testing requirements, labeling, chain-of-custody documentation, record keeping and inventory sell-through provisions.

A separate listing in the Federal Register sets the framework for third-party certification of composite wood products covered in the formaldehyde standard.

About the Author: Karen M. Koenig has more than 25 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As Editor-in-Chief of Wood & Wood Products, Karen’s primary responsibilities include spearheading the writing, editing and coordinating of the editorial content of the publication, along with the Red Book resource guide and the Red Book online source and supply directory (RedBookOnline.com). She is also a frequent contributor to other Woodworking Network online and print media. She can be reached at kkoenig@woodworkingnetwork.com .