High-profile retailers have come under scrutiny for selling products that exceed formaldehyde emissions limits set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Air Toxics Control Measure. The CARB regulation limits formaldehyde emissions from plywood, particleboard, and MDF. These limits have been in place since 2009, and more stringent CARB Phase 2 limits have been in place since 2012. Since California would be the world’s 10th largest economy as a standalone country, most composite wood mills make panels that find their way into California via finished products such as flooring, furniture and other building materials. The wood product industry has clearly defined 3rd party certification requirements under the regulation; however, finished product manufacturers (fabricators) and retailer requirements are left open to interpretation.
Most finished product manufacturers and retailers that have composite wood in their products have developed recordkeeping and labelling systems to meet the basic requirements of the CARB regulation. Until very recently, these systems relied almost completely on paperwork from the mills and distribution network. However, the recent market issues have called into question the diligence of this approach. With today’s complex global supply chains, the paperwork trail can quickly breakdown, leaving lingering questions about CARB compliance for brand owners. As a response, manufacturers and retailers can establish their own testing and inspection program to monitor their supply chain and verify that the plywood, particleboard, and MDF in their products meet CARB limits.
Are you concerned that you might be the next big brand to come under scrutiny for formaldehyde issues? Talk one of our experts today! Email furnitureNA@ul.com or call 844.221.5689 for more information.