Formaldehyde Testing

Testing Services for Laminate & Engineered Wood Flooring, Furniture and Cabinetry

Berkeley Analytical offers formaldehyde testing services for manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers impacted by California Air Resources Board (CARB) ATCM Phase 2 and by U.S. EPA TSCA Title VI regulations for formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products. BkA’s formaldehyde testing services include:

  • Production quality control testing of regulated composite woods by ASTM D6007
  • Quality control testing of supplier furnished composite wood cores and finished goods by ASTM D6007
  • Diagnostic and deconstruction studies following the CARB Standard Operating Procedure for Finished Good Test Specimen Preparation Prior to Analysis of Formaldehyde Emissions from Composite Wood Products

CARB ATCM Phase 2 & EPA TSCA Title VI Regulations

The new U.S. EPA TSCA Title VI requirements are largely consistent with the CARB ATCM Phase 2 requirements that have been in place for companies doing business in California.  In fact, the formaldehyde emissions requirements under the two regulations are identical.  Under TSCA Title VI regulated products manufactured or imported into the United States after March 22, 2019 must be certified and labeled as TSCA Title VI compliant by a third-party certification body (TPC) officially recognized by the U.S. EPA.

Both the CARB ATCM Phase 2 and the U.S. EPA TSCA Title VI regulations apply to composite woods widely used in laminate flooring, engineered wood flooring, commercial and residential furniture, cabinetry and other products. The regulations are not for finished goods; but, rather, limits the emission rates of formaldehyde from composite wood cores. The regulatory emission requirements vary depending upon the type of composite wood. Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) is allowed the higher formaldehyde emission rates than Particleboard and Hard Wood Plywood (HWPW). Significantly, these requirements are “caps," meaning they are hard numbers that cannot be exceeded.

BkA uses ASTM D6007, the recognized secondary method, to measure formaldehyde emissions from composite wood. Our testing by this method is validated by our continued participation and consistent performance in CARB inter-laboratory studies involving over 30 international laboratories. Additionally, we routinely employ the CARB Standard Operating Procedure for Finished Good Test Specimen Preparation Prior to Analysis of Formaldehyde Emissions from Composite Wood Products for testing of laminate flooring cores and furniture components for formaldehyde emissions. Deconstruction studies have been performed for the furniture industry to investigate the effects of veneers, finishes, and adhesives on the formaldehyde emission of core materials.

Our white paper, Test Methods for Measuring Formaldehyde Emissions from Laminate Flooring, shows the CARB and EPA regulatory requirements in Table 1 as both chamber formaldehyde concentrations and equivalent formaldehyde emission rates. These values are compared in Table 2 to the allowable formaldehyde emission rates for floors, ceilings and wallcoverings under voluntary standard CDPH Standard Method V1.2 that is used for qualifying products as low-emitting materials under USGBC LEED v4 and V4.1 and other building rating systems.

Formaldehyde Emissions from Other Products

Formaldehyde is contained in and emitted into air by many different products. Despite changes in the manufacturing of composite wood and other products over the last 25 years, formaldehyde is still a primary indoor air quality (IAQ) concern. BkA has a long history with the testing of products for formaldehyde emission. We offer testing in accordance with many formaldehyde emission standards such as CDPH Standard Method V1.2, ANSI/BIFMA M7.1, and ASTM D6007. We also operate Micro-scale chambers that can measure formaldehyde emissions from very small samples following ASTM D7706. For example, formaldehyde emissions from laminate flooring collected in the field can be determined using small disks cut from installed flooring.

We use ASTM D5197 and ISO 16000-3 for the sampling and analysis of formaldehyde. These methods provide high precision and excellent sensitivity, typically about 1 µg/m3 in a chamber test.

Contact us to discuss your formaldehyde testing needs and to request a quotation.