WASHINGTON – The American Home Furnishings Alliance favors a uniform national standard on formaldehyde emissions, but told the Environmental Protection Agency that it should take into account existing international standards in any federal rulemaking.

“A national approach to this issue is crucial in order to avoid conflicting state standards,” AHFA’s Bill Perdue told the agency at the Jan. 29 public hearing. “AHFA hopes that a uniform U.S. standard would serve as a starting point for the development of a harmonized international standard that addresses the global nature of the furnishings industry.”

The public hearing in Washington, DC, was the fifth in a series of forums the EPA held in January to gather information from various stakeholders about the risks associated with formaldehyde exposure from composite wood products. The agency also sought input on current and future technology for controlling formaldehyde emissions from these products, plus testimony on the effectiveness of the formaldehyde emission standard adopted by the State of California last year.

In its comments, AHFA recommended that the EPA follow California’s lead and adopt its federal regulation in two phases; focus only on hardwood plywood, particleboard and MDF; and regulate only the “raw board” components of finished goods.

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