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CARB Certification and EPA TSCA Formaldehyde Compliance for Composite Wood Manufacturers

As a third-party certifier (TPC) for composite wood products, UL helps manufacturers of composite wood products verify the amount of formaldehyde their products emit.

Stacked plywood

Overview

As an approved third-party certifier (TCP), UL is authorized to conduct inspections and testing to assess composite wood panel manufacturers’ products for compliance to the regulation. The regulation sets formaldehyde emissions limits for hardwood plywood (HWPW), particle board (PB) and medium density fiberboard (MDF).

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Title VI Compliance Rule in 2016 for composite wood. The EPA Rule was created with the help of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to ensure the rule was consistent or similar to the CARB Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) Method but provides a greater compliance requirement for the United States. 

In the certification process, UL verifies that the manufacturing facility for subject composite wood products are capable of complying with the CARB ATCM emission standards and TSCA Title VI. To receive these certifications, manufacturers undergo quarterly inspections and testing by the TPC, and routine quality control testing at manufacturing locations. Manufacturers that earn certification demonstrate that their panels comply with the emission standards by labeling their panels as CARB Phase 2 compliant and/or TSCA compliant.

Benefits

Products that achieve CARB or TSCA certification are verified by a third party to comply with the formaldehyde emissions standards that are required for composite wood products to be sold in California and required by the EPA for products sold in the United States.. This makes certification essential to almost every composite wood panel manufacturer around the world. In addition to opening new markets, manufacturing facilities that earn certification learn to control formaldehyde emissions from their products by establishing on-site quality control testing.

Why UL

UL is a CARB-approved and TSCA-accredited third-party certifier for CARB and TSCA requirements, and is a trusted third-party testing and certification company, helping companies navigate the complexities of understanding and meeting emission requirements.  

Related standards

  • ASTM E1333 Standard Test Method for Determining Formaldehyde Concentrations in Air and Emission Rates from Wood Products Using a Large Chamber  
  • ASTM D6007 Standard Test Method for Determining Formaldehyde Concentration in Air from Wood Products Using a Small Scale Chamber
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