WDMA Cautions EPA on Formaldehyde Regulations

March 26, 2009

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is currently looking at whether regulatory or other action might be appropriate to protect against potential risks posed by formaldehyde emitted from certain pressed wood products. Before a decision is made, the Window & Door Manufacturers Association is pressing a number of its members concerns with the EPA, it reports.  

WDMA is concerned with the difficulty of meeting and managing a national program on formaldehyde, in a cost-effective manner, especially for products with limited risk, according to Jeff Lowinski, vice president, advocacy and technical services. “WDMA wants to ensure that if there is to be a national program, it must be based on sound science and knowledge that it is going be meaningful. It also needs to preempt individual state regulations. Otherwise, multiple state regulations will likely continue, with multiple compliance requirements, labels and confusion.”

Before considering the adoption of CARB ATCM or any other existing pressed wood product regulation, WDMA cautions that EPA must be sure those programs actually are successful, both technically and procedurally, Lowinski explains. WDMA also questions the ability of pressed wood panel producers and users of these components to be able to swiftly convert all of their national capacity to compliant products or alternates. WDMA requests that EPA conduct a thorough review of the suitability and effectiveness of the CARB ATCM Phase I compliance documentation requirements before adopting them, he concludes.

An EPA Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on this issue is at www.epa.gov/opptintr/chemtest/formaldehyde/index.htm. WDMA’s comment letter can be found at www.wdma.com.