The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced it will move ahead in regulations aimed to reduce exposure of formaldehyde vapors from certain wood products. Working with the California Air Resources Board, the EPA said it came up with a national solution that is consistent with the California requirements for composite wood products. California is the only state that has issued existing limits on formaldehyde exposure. The new regulations will be applied to wood products produced domestically and imported into the U.S., reports REMODELING magazine.
According to the National Institute of Environment Health Sciences, formaldehyde is described as, “a colorless, flammable, strong smelling chemical widely used in home building products” and is used in wood products as an adhesive for furniture, flooring, cabinetry, bookcases, and building materials such as plywood and wood panels. Formaldehyde exposure can occur in various professions through air exposure, and it's listed as a human carcinogen based on various scientists studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health. Formaldehyde can cause asthma and long-term exposure can cause cancers such as myeloid leukemia.