The Formaldehyde Emissions from Composite Wood Products Regulations (the Regulations) prohibit the import, sale or offer for sale of composite wood products that emit formaldehyde above established limits.
The Regulation comes into effect on January 7, 2023. It is part of a larger initiative that was put in place to protect the environment and public health by controlling the release of toxic pollutants. Testing and third-party certification requirements for laminated products will come into effect on January 7, 2028.
Exemptions to the Regulation
The guidance document exempts the following from compliance with the new law:
- Woody veneers glued to cores other than composite wood product cores, such as lumber core
- Products composed of composite wood product cores glued to thin layers of material other than wood veneer, such as:
- Laminate flooring that includes a top layer that has an imprinted, textured image made to look like real wood, and
- Laminated kitchen counters, which typically consist of a plastic layer glued to PB
According to the guidance document, preliminary testing using ASTM E1333 (large chamber) or ASTM D6007 (small chamber) is to be carried out four times annually during specific periods by an accredited laboratory, in addition to quality control (QC) testing. The guidance document also details the QC testing frequency based on weekly and monthly production and provides a non-exhaustive list of methods for QC testing (see Table 1 below).
Certification is a prerequisite for importing or selling composite wood panels and laminated products in Canada. This certification requires verification from a qualified third-party certifier (TPC) that the formaldehyde emissions from the particular product types did not exceed the applicable limit based on at least 5 primary and 5 QC tests. Ongoing verification by a qualified TPC is required to maintain certification. For more information on the roles and responsibilities of the TPC, see Third-party certifiers: composite wood products containing formaldehyde.