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Formaldehyde bill becomes law

President Barack Obama signed a bill July 7 limiting the amount of formaldehyde in hardwood plywood, particleboard and medium-density fiberboard.

The Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act amends the Toxic Substances Control Act to make the formaldehyde emission standard contained in the California Code of Regulations (relating to an airborne toxic control measure to reduce formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products, as in effect on July 28, 2009) applicable to hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard and particleboard sold, supplied, offered for sale, or manufactured in the United States, with listed exemptions, including for hardboard, structural plywood, wood packaging and composite wood products used inside new vehicles, railcars, boats, aerospace craft or aircraft.

It directs the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to promulgate implementing regulations that ensure compliance equivalent to compliance with the California standard, including its provisions relating to labeling, chain of custody requirements, sell-through provisions, ultralow emitting formaldehyde resins, no-added formaldehyde-based resins, finished goods, third-party testing and certification, auditing and reporting of third-party certifiers, recordkeeping, and enforcement.

It requires the administrator, by July 1, 2011, in coordination with the Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection and other appropriate federal agencies, to revise regulations promulgated under the law concerning import certification of any chemical substance, mixture, or article containing a chemical substance or mixture as necessary to ensure compliance with the new law.

It also authorizes the administrator to modify any reference to an industry formaldehyde emission standard that is subsequently updated, and provides that an individual or entity that violates any requirement under this Act shall be considered to have committed a prohibited act under TSCA.

For information, search for bill S.1660 at

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