IWPA Recognizes Passage of National Formaldehye Legislation

Says Initiative Expands Opportunities for Imports

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 24, 2010 – The International Wood Products Association (IWPA) welcomes legislation to set a national standard for formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products. “Our members are meeting and exceeding the emission regulations already in place in the state of California. They welcome a nationwide standard to provide uniformity and predictability to the marketplace,” said Brent McClendon, executive vice president of the International Wood Products Association.

The Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act (S. 1660) passed the House of Representatives on June 23, 2010 and is now bound for President Obama’s desk. The legislation directs the Environmental Protection Agency to promulgate regulations on emissions, labeling, and third-party testing, among other provisioins.

“Product safety is a clear priority for the wood products industry. Our members who import composite wood products have a long history of meeting voluntary U.S. industry product emission standards and currently meet the emission levels and third-party certification requirements as described in Senate Bill 1660,” said McClendon.

Imports of composite wood products are valued by U.S. manufacturers for their unique physical properties that are not found in domestic woods, which is why these products are only constructed overseas. U.S. manufacturers and distributors are especially concerned that these products remain available to the marketplace.

It has been unfortunate that debate on this legislation has too often devolved into calls for protectionism. “Our members report to us that passage of this bill effectively ends the fallacious ‘level the playing field’ argument and allows architects and designers to increasingly specify and use the imported wood products  they especially favor for particular applications in housing, cabinets and furniture,” said McClendon.

The International Wood Products Association represents more than 200 companies and trade organizations engaged in the responsible import of hardwoods and softwoods from across the globe.

For more information about the International Wood Products Association, please visit

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