EPA to Evaluate Formaldehyde Use in Pressed Wood Products

WASHINGTON — The U.S Environmental Protection Agency  is launching a broad effort to gain a greater scientific understanding of the potential health risks of formaldehyde’s use in pressed wood products. Through this process, the EPA will develop risk assessments on the potential adverse health effects, evaluate the costs and benefits of possible control technologies and approaches, and determine whether EPA action is needed to address any identified risks.

The agency plans to issue an advance notice of proposed rulemaking in Fall 2008. The agency is pursuing this course of action following review of a petition submitted under the Toxic Substances Control Act . The petition requested that EPA adopt nationally a California regulation to control formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products and extend the rule to include composite wood products in manufactured homes.

EPA reviewed the TSCA Section 21 citizens’ petition, submitted by the Sierra Club, a number of other environmental organizations, as well as a large number of private citizens, and sought comment and additional information on the petition. EPA will work closely with the Department of Housing and Urban Development on issues related to manufactured housing.

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