Formaldehyde is a colorless but strong-smelling chemical compound that is most often used in the production of building materials and household products. Urea-formaldehyde resins are used in the manufacture of composite or pressed wood products. High levels of exposure may cause some types of cancer. If you are not sure your new furniture compliant with formaldehyde emission stands or not, let us take a short review this article today. Different country have different formaldehyde emission standard or regulation for composite wood products, we will go through one by one.

  1. Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) for Formaldehyde Emission

Japanese regulation for formaldehyde emissions from wood panels is widely considered the most stringent in the world. Their JAS standards for plywood and Structural Panels (OSB) do not directly specify a limit for formaldehyde emissions.

However, panels meeting the F**** standard for formaldehyde emissions (the most stringent requirement level) are required to have an average emission level below 0.30mg/l as tested to Japanese Standard JIS A 1460.  APA PS 1 and PS 2 panels easily meet F**** requirements.

F* ≤ 5 mg/l

F** ≤ 1.5 mg/l

F*** ≤ 0.5 mg/l

F**** ≤ 0.3 mg/l

  1. United States TSCA Title VI Accreditation Bodies (ABs) and Third-Party Certifiers (TPCs) Formaldehyde Standards

June 1, 2018, composite wood products (manufactured in or imported into the U.S.) must be certified as compliant with emission standards by a CARB approved and EPA-recognized Third-Party Certifier (TPC).

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3. Europe Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products

Since 2004: Emission classes E1 and E2 were established by European Standard EN 13986 for use in construction X where formaldehyde-containing materials, particularly resins, have been added to the product as a part of the production process, the product shall be tested and classified into one of two classes: E1 ≤ 0.5mg/l and   E2 ≤ 1.5 mg/l.

Most member follow this regulation standard, however, some member states such as Austria, Germany, Denmark and Sweden have national legislation restricting formaldehyde emission in these products.

The method often adopted for meeting these requirements is EN 717-1 ‘Wood-based Panels – Determination of Formaldehyde Release – Formaldehyde emission by the chamber method’.

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4.China Formaldehyde Emission regulation for composite wood products

 E1 grade standard only.

In the old standard, the standard system in China is based on Europe and Japan, It is divided into two levels of national standard E1 and national standard E2, and the national standard E1 products can be directly used indoors. E2 grade products must be finished for interior use.
In China, the E0 standard is only a recommended standard, not a mandatory standard, equivalent to the European E1 standard.

E2 ≤ 5 mg/l   E1 ≤ 1.5 mg/l  E0 ≤ 0.5 mg/l

After May 1, 2018, The only mandatory standard is E1 standard, interior decoration materials, the formaldehyde release limit for wood-based panels and their products, has been officially implemented. Since then, the formaldehyde release limit value of interior decoration materials such as wood-based panels and their products has been 0.124 mg/m3.

E1 ≤0.124 mg/m3