US Proposes Changes to Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products

SGS, the world’s leading testing, inspection and certification company, is advising stakeholders that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a proposal to revise its formaldehyde standards for composite wood under Title VI of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

The ‘proposed rule’ will, if accepted, revise several sections of 40 CFR Part 770 – Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood. Provisions include:

  • Several voluntary consensus standards under § 770.99 updated to their latest versions:
    1. ANSI/HPVA HP-1-2020 ‘Hardwood and decorative hardwood’
    2. ASTM D5055-19e1 ‘Standard specification for establishing and monitoring structural capacities of prefabricated wood I-joists’
    3. ASTM D5456-21e1 ‘Standard specification for evaluation of structural composite lumber products’
    4. BS EN ISO 12460-3:2020 ‘Wood-based panels. Determination of formaldehyde release by Gas analysis method’ and/or ISO 12460-3:2020 ‘Wood-based panels – Determination of formaldehyde release – Part 3: gas analysis method’
    5. JIS A 1460:2021
    6. PS-1-19 ‘Structural plywood’
    7. PS-2-18 ‘Performance standard for wood structural panels’
  • Third-party certifiers (TPC) allowed to conduct (live) remote quarterly inspections – video/teleconferences – with the panel producer’s quality manager during periods of unsafe conditions (e.g., natural disasters, outbreaks, political unrests, epidemics and pandemics) to select, package, sign and ship the TPC panels/samples according to § 770.20(c) ‘Frequency of Testing’
  • Clarifies data requirements for no added formaldehyde-based resins (NAF-based resins, § 770.17) and ultra-low-emitting formaldehyde resins (ULEF resins, § 770.18) to fully align with California Air Resources Board (CARB) control data
  • Clarifies that all panels must be tested in an unfinished condition, before the application of a topcoat or finishing, as soon as possible after their production, but no later than 30 calendar days after the samples were produced, for consistency with § 770.20(c)(3) and CARB
  • Adds an intermediate range value of 0.038 and an upper range value of 0.052 for C in the equation for equivalence of ASTM D6007-14 with ASTM E1333-14 (§ 770.20 ‘Equivalence Determination’) to fully align with CARB

The Final Rule implementing formaldehyde standards for composite wood products was published in 2016.

For more information, read SGS’s original SafeGuardS 044/22.

The ‘proposed rule’ was issued on March 29, 2022, and the EPA will accept comments until April 28, 2022.

SGS Consumer Product Services

SGS provides news about the development of regulations affecting consumer products as a complimentary service. With an unrivalled global network of laboratories, they offer physical/mechanical testing, analytical testing and consultancy work for technical and non-technical parameters applicable to a comprehensive range of consumer products. In the end, it’s only trusted because it’s tested. Learn more about SGS’s Consumer Product Services.

SGS SafeGuardS keep you up to date with the latest news and developments in the consumer goods industry. Read the full US EPA Proposes to Revise Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood SafeGuardS.

Subscribe here to receive SGS SafeGuardS direct to your inbox.

For further information contact:

Dr. HingWo Tsang

Global Information and Innovation Manager

Tel: (+852) 2774 7420



LinkedIn: sgs-consumer-goods-&-retail

About SGS

We are SGS – the world’s leading testing, inspection and certification company. We are recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. Our 96,000 employees operate a network of 2,600 offices and laboratories, working together to enable a better, safer and more interconnected world.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top