Recently, the CBS program 60 Minutes aired a piece on Chinese-made laminated flooring that was tested for formaldehyde emissions. Benchmark International was one of the labs hired to test products purchased and supplied by 60 Minutes. Benchmark International tested all products provided using CARB’s testing methodology and standard operating procedures.
On May 16, 2013, Benchmark International COO Travis Snapp testified before the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs during the Oversight Hearing on “The 2008 Lacey Act Amendments.”
The video below features excerpts of Travis’ testimony from that hearing.
The EPA recently released a new regulation to protect the public from exposure to formaldehyde. This new regulation includes additional products not covered by CARB and will impact multiple businesses throughout the wood products industry at both the primary and secondary points of manufacture.
We’re Here to Help
At Benchmark International, we’re here to support the industry and help you make sense of new laws. As we study this latest regulation, we will keep you updated with what you need to do. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-541-484-9212 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Us for a Free Webinar
In the near future, Benchmark, in conjunction with Oregon State University’s Wood Science Engineering Department, will hold a free webinar to address the implications of the formaldehyde regulation. Watch for an announcement and invitation to follow.
Read a Summary of the Regulation
We’ve included a summary of the new regulation below, straight from the EPA website. To view the full regulation, click here. We’ve also included two in-depth prepublication versions of the proposed EPA rules:
Proposed Rules to Implement the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act (TSCA Title VI)
The EPA proposed two rules aimed at protecting the public from the risks associated with exposure to formaldehyde. The first proposal would implement formaldehyde emission standards under TSCA Title VI, and would apply to hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard, particleboard, and finished goods containing these products that are sold, supplied, offered for sale, or manufactured (including imported) in the United States.
The second proposal would establish a framework for a third-party certification program to ensure that composite wood panel producers comply with the formaldehyde emission limits established under TSCA Title VI.
These rules will protect people against the risks posed by formaldehyde emitted from composite wood products. These rules will also put in place one national set of standards for companies that manufacture or import these products and ensure the same protections for all Americans.
This rule also includes implementing provisions for:
First Proposed Rule: Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act Implementing Regulation
As required by the law, the first proposal sets limits on how much formaldehyde may be released from composite wood products, including hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard, particleboard and finished goods containing these products, that are sold, supplied, offered for sale, manufactured, or imported in the United States. It also includes protective yet common sense exemptions from some testing and recordkeeping requirements for products made with no-added formaldehyde resins. This proposal includes additional implementing provisions for:
- Laminated products
- Testing requirements
- Product labeling
- Chain of custody documentation, and other recordkeeping requirements
- Product inventory sell-through provisions, including a product stockpiling prohibition
Second Proposed Rule: Third-Party Certification Framework
The law also requires the establishment of a third-party certification program to ensure that composite wood panel producers comply with the established emission limits. Under the proposed framework, third-party certifiers (TPCs) would be required to apply to EPA-recognized accreditation bodies who would verify the certifiers’ ability to ensure that panel producers comply with the formaldehyde emission standards. Under this rule, TPCs would audit composite wood panel producers and verify compliance with the formaldehyde emission standards.
- TPCs would be responsible for activities such as:
- Regularly auditing composite wood panel producers
- Conducting and verifying formaldehyde emissions tests
- Ensuring that panel producers’ quality assurance/quality control procedures and testing complies with the TSCA Title VI implementing regulations
Benchmark International holds the following accreditations, which are all proposed requirements of the EPA regulation:
ISO/IEC Guide 65 Accredited
ISO/IEC 17020 Inspection Agency Accredited
ISO/IEC 17025 Testing Laboratory Accredited
Welcome to the new Benchmark International website! We hope you like its easy-to-navigate, enhanced features. We’re always looking for ways to serve you better, and this site will help us achieve that goal.
Use our new site to learn more about our testing, engineering design, inspection and certification services. We offer the widest range of testing options for wood, flooring, concrete and steel products at the most competitive prices.
Be sure to check out the new Featured Clients section, which includes a detailed listing of some of our clients’ companies and products. We are proud to represent each one of them.
Here are a few reasons our clients choose us for all their testing and certification needs:
We work with you one-on-one. As a boutique service provider, we are able to develop personal relationships with each client. We’re with you every step of the way during the testing process.
We don’t sell you unnecessary services. We are proud of our reputation as one of the few testing agencies that won’t sell you services you don’t need. We strive for honesty and accuracy every day—and that’s exactly what we deliver.
We are experts in our field. Our team has years of experience in the forest, composite, concrete and steel products industries. With roots that date back 60 years, we are one of the oldest accredited testing labs anywhere in the world! Today we’re carrying on testing services that originally began in 1956—and we’re only getting better. If you have a product that needs to be tested, we can generate a solution for you.
Thank you for visiting our site. We hope you’ll put our services to the “test.”
Travis R. Snapp
Managing Director and Chief Operation Officer, BMH