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CARB Testing of Formaldehyde Emissions for Composite Wood Products

Testing composite wood products to measure emissions of formaldehyde from plywood, particle board and medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is commonly known as CARB testing. It’s conducted in environmental chambers operated at defined product loading, temperature and relative humidity.

Plywood with potential formaldehyde emissions


Formaldehyde is widely used in pressed wood products, such as particle board, plywood, fiberboard, glues and adhesives that are found in flooring, furniture and other building materials. Formaldehyde has been shown to present short- and long-term health risks. As a result, agencies and programs, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), CARB, the European Union, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and other green building programs, reference the ASTM D6007 and ASTM E1333 test methods for measuring formaldehyde emissions and determining compliance.


The CARB Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) 93120 regulation is designed to reduce formaldehyde emissions and exposure in hardwood plywood, particle board and MDF. Products that contain these materials are required to keep records indicating that they use only third-party certified boards in their finished products.

However, many manufacturers go beyond the record-keeping requirements and have their raw materials or finished products tested. Manufacturers of flooring and furniture products, for example, can gain insight into their supply chain by testing to ASTM D6007 and ASTM E1333 with UL Solutions laboratories around the world.

Why UL Solutions

A trusted resource for product emissions, UL Solutions has evaluated more than 70,000 products for chemical emissions. Our familiarity with both national and international emissions testing standards, green building codes and rating systems enables UL Solutions to partner with manufacturers to conduct product emissions testing in ways that maximize efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Related standards

  • UL 100 Standard for Sustainability for Gypsum Boards and Panels
  • ASTM D6007 Standard Test Method for Determining Formaldehyde Concentrations in Air from Wood Products Using a Small-Scale Chamber
  • ASTM E1333 Standard Test Method for Determining Formaldehyde Concentrations in Air and Emission Rates from Wood Products Using a Large Chamber


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