New Wood Product Rule Could Affect Furniture

Green office solutions can include safe flooring practices as well as well-resourced furniture. Both of these could be subject to a new rule from both the California Air Resources Board and the Environmental Protection Agency, which could impact composite wood product treatment. Taken along with other recent standards changes, it could be a sign of more progress to come in this field.

Woodworking Network reported on the rule, which specifically pertains to formaldehyde emissions, following previous laws like the Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products Act. According to this source, the new rule intends to limit the possible harm from wood products treated with formaldehyde.

The source quoted Jim Jones, assistant administrator for the EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, on the connection between federal and state authorities on this issue.

"We are carrying out important measures laid out by Congress to protect the public from harmful exposure of this widely used chemical found in homes and workplaces", Jones said. "We have worked with the state of California as a partner to help ensure consistency in our requirements."

Earlier this year, the United States Green Building Council announced a similar addition to LEED designed to enforce proper wood sourcing.

With an Alternative Compliance Path, the USGBC said it wanted to make it difficult to use illegal wood in a certified project, which was still technically possible under pre-existing rules. As a post from the USGBC blog put it, the new measure was also a chance to experiment with setting minimum values within LEED standards at all.

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