"EPA Limits Formaldehyde Exposure From Wood Products"

"Giving expression to a law unanimously passed by Congress in 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [Wednesday] proposed two rules to help protect Americans from exposure to the harmful chemical formaldehyde emitted from wood products. These rules ensure that composite wood products, whether produced in the United States or imported, meet the formaldehyde emission standards established by that law."

"At room temperature, formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable gas with a pungent smell. It is also known as methanal, methylene oxide, oxymethyline, methylaldehyde, and oxomethane. Formaldehyde is used in the production of fertilizer, paper, plywood, and urea-formaldehyde resins.

Formaldehyde is used in adhesives that make up composite building materials such as hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard, particleboard, and finished goods containing these products. The emitted formaldehyde can be left over from the resin or composite wood making process or be released when the resin degrades in the presence of heat and humidity. The highest potential exposure occurs when workers breathe contaminated workplace air.

Exposure to formaldehyde can cause adverse health effects including eye, nose and throat irritation, neurological symptoms, even cancer. The Department of Health and Human Services has determined that formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen based on human and animal inhalation studies."

Environment News Service had the story May 29, 2013.

Source: ENS, 05/31/2013