Manufacturers Scrambling to Meet New EPA Formaldehyde Emissions Compliance Deadline
Certifier SCS Global Services Prepared to Help Companies Meet Expedited Schedule
By the beginning of June this year –less than two months away – virtually all composite wood products manufactured or sold in the United States, as well as products made with composite wood components, must meet tough formaldehyde standards. As a result, manufacturers of hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard, particleboard, and a wide range of products containing these materials, are now racing the clock to have their products certified in time to demonstrate compliance.
The new June 1st deadline, announced yesterday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Federal Register, effectively requires companies to come into compliance six months earlier than EPA had previously allowed. This deadline was established on the heels of last month’s decision by a U.S. District Court, which ruled in favor of a suit brought by the Sierra Club against the EPA for its efforts to delay the compliance deadline from December 2017 to December 2018. Compliance must be demonstrated to Title VI of the Toxics Substance Control Act (TSCA) or the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measures (ATCM) Phase II emission standards, which are set at identical levels, by a third-party certifier (TPC) approved by CARB and recognized by EPA.
“This accelerated compliance date has ramifications for products across the construction, green building, and furniture sectors,” said Stanley Mathuram, Vice President of Corporate Sales and Marketing for SCS Global Services, a pioneer and leader in third-party certification of environmental and sustainability claims, including indoor air quality performance. “We are fully prepared, both here in the US, and in manufacturing hubs such as China and others worldwide, to handle a surge in certification audits to assure that companies can meet the new deadline.”
Formaldehyde, long used as a resin in the manufacture of composite wood components and products, has been targeted as an indoor air quality health hazard associated with short-term irritation of skin, eyes, nose, and throat, and longer-term potential to cause some types of cancers. Voluntary certifications, such as SCS’ Indoor Advantage™ Gold, FloorScore® for resilient flooring products, and BIFMA e3 level® for furniture, and mandatory programs, such as California’s Composite Wood Products Regulation, launched in 2009, have helped drive innovation to reduce or eliminate formaldehyde emissions. The EPA regulations are providing additional momentum, benefiting factory workers and consumers alike, not just in the US, but in manufacturing countries around the world.
Beyond these standards and regulations, another key to compliance is the institution of effective quality assurance systems. “Quality assurance programs involving sourcing and purchasing protocols, site audits, lot controls, and statistical sampling and testing help importers and manufacturers assure that they are in full compliance,” said Mathuram.
More information about TSCA Title VI and CARB ATCM 93120 can be found at https://www.epa.gov/formaldehyde/formaldehyde-emission-standards-composite-wood-products and
More information about SCS Compliance Certification for TSCA Title VI and CARB ATCM 93120 can be found at https://bit.ly/2JnoXl4
About SCS Global Services. SCS is an international leader in third-party certification and standards development in environmental, sustainability, and quality performance claims. Through auditing, certification, testing, life cycle assessment, training and strategic consulting services, SCS empowers organizations to affirm and communicate their sustainability success stories. SCS is an approved Third Party Certifier (TPC) for both CARB ATCM 93120 and TSCA Title VI regulatory requirements. SCS is a California benefit corporation, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices. [email protected]