Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products

Rule Summary

On July 27, 2016, EPA finalized a rule to reduce exposure to formaldehyde vapors from certain wood products produced domestically or imported into the United States.

EPA worked with the California Air Resources Board to help ensure the final national rule is consistent with California’s requirements for composite wood products. 

The Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products Act of 2010 established emission standards for formaldehyde from composite wood products and directed EPA to finalize a rule on implementing and enforcing a number of provisions covering composite wood products.

One year after the rule is published 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. These products include: hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard, and particleboard, as well as household and other finished goods containing these products. 

By including provisions for laminated products, product testing requirements, labeling, recordkeeping, and import certification, the final rule ensures that hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard, and particleboard products sold, supplied, offered for sale, imported to, or manufactured in the United States are in compliance with the emission standards.

The final rule also establishes a third-party certification program for laboratory testing and oversight of formaldehyde emissions from manufactured and/or imported composite wood products.

Rule History

On July 7, 2010, President Obama signed the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act into law. On June 10, 2013, EPA proposed two regulations:

The two proposed rules were combined for the final rule to consolidate requirements into a single rule to help regulated entities and other interested parties better understand how various requirements are related without having to cross-reference between two separate rules.

Additional Resources

Factsheet -- EPA’s Rule to Implement the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act

Questions and answers about the final rule for general consumers

Questions and answers about the final rule for regulated stakeholders

Upcoming webinars on the final rule

Learn more about formaldehyde and laminate flooring