Formaldehyde Testing Service

Textiles Like Upholstery are Often Treated with Formaldehyde During Production


A Bit About Formaldehyde

Manufacturers use formaldehyde for a variety of purposes: processed woods, fabrics, glues, insulation, coatings, and the like. It is a volatile organic compound (VOC) as well, meaning that formaldehyde evaporates comparatively easily, like at ambient room temperatures. Furthermore, formaldehyde is a chemical compound that causes cancer when people are exposed to it for extended periods of time. It is regulated by Proposition 65 for this confluence of reasons.

Proposition 65

California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, better known as Prop 65, sets down a series of laws regarding toxic chemicals. First, it charges the state with keeping a list of chemicals that cause birth defects or cancer in humans. Second, it prohibits businesses from dumping any of those chemicals into the supply of drinking water in any significant amounts. Third, it holds businesses accountable for exposing residents to any of the listed chemicals without giving them a sufficient, visible warning.

Proposition 65 (continued)

The labeling mandate is the component of Prop 65 that causes the greatest friction between businesses and the law; there are nearly 950 entries on the list of regulated chemicals. Regardless of where they are headquartered, businesses operating within the state of California are subject to these labeling requirements. Penalties for non-compliance can cost as much as $2500 per day per violation.

Labeling Exemptions

There are, however, exceptions to the rule; the state has established thresholds under which a dose of a regulated chemical is treated as harmless. These thresholds, called Safe Harbor Limits (SHLs), vary by chemical and are counted in micrograms. Formaldehyde’s SHL, for instance, is 40 micrograms per day. Applied Technical Services uses techniques that can determine the total formaldehyde content, which can then be used in an exposure assessment to determine if a warning label is required for a product.

About Our Method

ATS frequently performs formaldehyde testing in accordance with AATCC 112, a test standard for fabric samples. Also known as the sealed jar test, this method can establish the presence of formaldehyde in sample materials at the parts-per-million level. Our talented staff of chemists returns precise measurements quickly because of their familiarity performing AATCC 112 and other relevant standards for formaldehyde testing.

ATS and Toxicant Analysis

For over 50 years, ATS has delivered testing, inspection, and engineering consulting services of the greatest quality. We proudly serve the needs of clients from around the world who represent a variety of industries. ATS partners with manufacturers/importers, legal professionals, toxicologists, and consumer advocacy groups to ensure Proposition 65 compliance. Let ATS determine your sample’s formaldehyde content — we take a closer look.

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