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New Formaldehyde Regulations Impact Wood Products


LA Testing provides formaldehyde and VOC testing services to ensure indoor environments are safe for building occupants.

Garden Grove, CA

This summer President Barack Obama signed into law a bill limiting the amount of formaldehyde emissions from some composite wood products. The Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act amends the Toxic Substances Control Act to protect the public from the dangers associated with exposure to formaldehyde.

The new regulations are applicable for hardwood plywood, medium density fiberboard and particleboard. It impacts materials manufactured, sold, supplied or offered for sale in the United States.

Formaldehyde’s primary use is in the production of resins and as a chemical intermediate. The most significant sources of formaldehyde in homes are typically from pressed wood products made using adhesives that contain urea-formaldehyde resins. It is also a by-product of combustion and can be found in some household products.

LA Testing, an affiliate of EMSL Analytical and a leading provider of air quality testing services, provides formaldehyde testing services. “Formaldehyde’s volatility makes it a significant issue for human health,” reported Ben Sublasky, National Director of Client Services for LA Testing and EMSL Analytical. “The World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen. The health effects associated with elevated levels of formaldehyde exposure are dangerous to workers and building occupants and testing can help ensure everyone’s safety,” he continued.

Major exposure risks associated with formaldehyde come from occupants inhaling contaminated air. Exposure to elevated levels of formaldehyde can trigger asthma attacks, nausea, watery eyes, headaches and difficulty breathing as well as other health effects. The current “permissible exposure limits” (PELs) for formaldehyde in the workplace are 0.75 parts per million (ppm) as an 8 hour time-weighted average (TWA). This means that exposures for an 8 hour work day should not exceed 0.75 ppm PEL.

To view an educational video about formaldehyde please visit To learn more about formaldehyde testing services please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794.

About LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.
LA Testing and EMSL Analytical are providers of environmental testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The companies have an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


 Formaldehyde Wood Product
 VOC Testing Services
 Composite Wood Products
 toxic substances control
 WHO IARC Asthma

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