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Formaldehyde Testing Laboratories

By Crystal Johnson

Formaldehyde Testing Requirements – On the Horizon

Formaldehyde is a chemical widely used in building materials and to manufacture various household products. Formaldehyde is colorless, flammable, and has an offensive odor. Some products that formaldehyde is typically found in include plywood, glue, cosmetics, fabrics, and many others. Here in recent years, the use of formaldehyde in composite wood products has come under scrutiny. In 2010 the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products was signed into effect as part of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). As a result, the EPA is currently reviewing the use of formaldehyde in composite woods such as plywood. The EPA is looking to establish new emissions standards and devise testing requirements for these types of products. Currently the EPA is seeking public comment, and has extended this period through May 26, 2014. http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/chemtest/formaldehyde/


Canada bans the use of TCEP

Canada is following suit to several US states that already have regulations in place regarding the use of tris (2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP) in children’s products. The Canadian regulation took effect on April 23, 2014, and bans the use of TCEP in polyurethane foam that is intended for children under the age of 3. TCEP is a flame retardant that is sometimes used in products containing polyurethane foam. TCEP has been identified as a carcinogen and might be a human health hazard. The newly enacted regulation will be enforced 6 months from the date it went into effect. http://gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2014/2014-04-23/html/sor-dors79-eng.php

On the Heels of other States - Vermont Toxic Chemical List

On April 29, 2014 the state of Vermont passed a bill that would allow the Vermont Department of Health to regulate toxic chemicals used in consumer products. If the bill is approved, this would require companies to report the use of toxic chemicals in consumer products beginning July 1, 2015. This requirement is very similar to what California, Washington, and Maine already have in effect. http://legiscan.com/VT/text/S0239/id/906471/Vermont-2013-S0239-Introduced.pdf

Heightened Concern Regarding PCB 11

Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) 11 is a chemical typically used in the manufacturing process of yellow dyes. PCB 11 (CAS #: 2050-67-1) is one of the 209 different PCB substances. The chemical can be commonly found in items such as inks, paints, clothing, and paper. PCBs are regulated by the EPA and have been since 1979. In recent months PCB 11 has been detected in products (and mostly those that contain yellow pigment), raising some concern about the safe use of PCB 11. The direct hazards of PCB 11 are not known well, and additional research is needed. ATS is currently testing for PCB 11, with a detection limit of 50 parts per billion (ppb).http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/tsd/pcbs/pubs/about.htm
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/concerns-raised-yellow-dyes/story?id=22640765

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Formaldehyde Testing

Characteristics of formaldehyde include: colorless, highly flammable, and a strong odor. Formaldehyde is used in products for a variety of reasons: fabrics for permanent-press and in processed woods to help the wood layers/pieces adhere together.

Azo Dyes

Azo Dyes are synthetic dyes used to give colors a more vibrant appearance. However, some dyes are comprised of aromatic amines which have proven to be carcinogenic.

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