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EPA/OCSPP RIN: 2070-AJ92 Publication ID: 2012 
Title: ●Formaldehyde Emissions Standards for Composite Wood Products 
Abstract: On July 7, 2010, the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act was enacted. This law amends TSCA to establish specific formaldehyde emission limits for hardwood plywood, particleboard, and medium-density fiberboard, which limits are identical to the California emission limits for these products. The law further requires EPA to promulgate implementing regulations by January 1, 2013. This rulemaking will address the mandate to promulgate regulations to implement the statutory formaldehyde emission standards for hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard, and particleboard sold, supplied, offered for sale, or manufactured (including imported) in the United States. As directed by the statute, EPA will also consider provisions relating to, among other things, laminated products, products made with no added formaldehyde resins, testing requirements, product labeling, chain of custody documentation and other recordkeeping requirements, and product inventory sell-through provisions. A separate Regulatory Agenda entry (RIN 2070-AJ44) covers the mandate for EPA to promulgate regulations to address requirements for accrediting bodies and third-party certifiers. 
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency(EPA)  Priority: Economically Significant 
RIN Status: First time published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: Yes  Unfunded Mandates: Private Sector 
CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.
Legal Authority: 15 USC 2697; TSCA sec 601 
Legal Deadline:
Action Source Description Date
Final  Statutory  Deadline for promulgation of regulations, per 15 USC 2697(d).  01/01/2013 

Statement of Need: Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable gas at room temperature that has a strong odor. It is found in resins used in the manufacture of composite wood products (i.e., hardwood plywood, particleboard, and medium-density fiberboard). It is also found in household products such as glues, permanent press fabrics, carpets, antiseptics, medicines, cosmetics, dishwashing liquids, fabric softeners, shoe care agents, lacquers, plastics, and paper product coatings. It is a by-product of combustion and certain other natural processes. Examples of sources of formaldehyde gas inside homes include cigarette smoke, unvented, fuel-burning appliances (gas stoves, kerosene space heaters), and composite wood products made using formaldehyde-based resins.

Summary of the Legal Basis: The Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act, which created title VI of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), established formaldehyde emission standards for composite wood products (hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), and particleboard) sold, supplied, offered for sale or manufactured in the United States. Under TSCA title VI, manufacturers of composite wood products must comply with specific formaldehyde emission standards, and their compliance must be verified by a third-party certifier (TPC). In addition, Congress directed EPA to consider a number of elements for inclusion in implementing the regulations. These elements include: labeling, chain of custody requirements, sell-through provisions, ultra low-emitting formaldehyde resins, no added formaldehyde-based resins, finished goods, third-party testing and certification, auditing and reporting of TPCs, recordkeeping, enforcement, laminated products, and exceptions from the requirements of regulations promulgated for products and components containing de minimis amounts of composite wood products.

Alternatives: TSCA title VI establishes national formaldehyde emission limits for hardwood plywood, particleboard, and medium-density fiberboard and EPA has not been given the authority to change the limits. However, EPA will evaluate various implementation alternatives during the course of this rulemaking.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: EPA is currently evaluating the costs and benefits of this action.

Risks: EPA is currently evaluating the risks presented by exposure to formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products (hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), and particleboard) in excess of the statutory limits. Formaldehyde is both an irritant and a known human carcinogen. Depending on concentration, formaldehyde can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, even when exposure is of relatively short duration. In the indoor environment, sensory reactions and various symptoms as a result of mucous membrane irritation are some potential effects from exposure. There is also evidence that formaldehyde may be associated with changes in pulmonary function and increased risk of asthma in children. In addition, formaldehyde is a by-product of human metabolism; therefore, endogenous levels are present in the body.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  01/00/2013   
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
International Impacts: This regulatory action will be likely to have international trade and investment effects, or otherwise be of international interest.
RIN Information URL: http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/chemtest/formaldehyde/index.html  
Sectors Affected: 321211 Hardwood Veneer and Plywood Manufacturing; 321212 Softwood Veneer and Plywood Manufacturing; 321213 Engineered Wood Member (except Truss) Manufacturing; 321219 Reconstituted Wood Product Manufacturing; 321991 Manufactured Home (Mobile Home) Manufacturing; 321992 Prefabricated Wood Building Manufacturing; 325199 All Other Basic Organic Chemical Manufacturing; 325211 Plastics Material and Resin Manufacturing; 336213 Motor Home Manufacturing; 336214 Travel Trailer and Camper Manufacturing; 337110 Wood Kitchen Cabinet and Countertop Manufacturing; 337121 Upholstered Household Furniture Manufacturing; 337122 Nonupholstered Wood Household Furniture Manufacturing; 337127 Institutional Furniture Manufacturing; 337129 Wood Television, Radio, and Sewing Machine Cabinet Manufacturing; 337211 Wood Office Furniture Manufacturing; 337212 Custom Architectural Woodwork and Millwork Manufacturing; 337215 Showcase, Partition, Shelving, and Locker Manufacturing; 423110 Automobile and Other Motor Vehicle Merchant Wholesalers; 423210 Furniture Merchant Wholesalers; 423310 Lumber, Plywood, Millwork, and Wood Panel Merchant Wholesalers; 423390 Other Construction Material Merchant Wholesalers; 441210 Recreational Vehicle Dealers; 442110 Furniture Stores; 444110 Home Centers; 444130 Hardware Stores; 444190 Other Building Material Dealers; 453930 Manufactured (Mobile) Home Dealers 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Agency Contact:
Cindy Wheeler
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention
7404T,
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:202 566-0484
Email: wheeler.cindy@epa.gov

Robert Courtnage
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention
7404T,
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:202 566-1081
Email: courtnage.robert@epa.gov

 
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