U.S. EPA is launching a broad effort to gain a greater scientific understanding of the potential health risks of formaldehyde’s use in pressed wood products. The Agency is pursuing this course of action following review of a TSCA Section 21 citizens’ petition (PDF) (106 pp, 4.44MB), which requested that EPA adopt nationally a recently enacted California regulation to control formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products and to extend the rule to include composite wood products in manufactured homes.
EPA carefully reviewed the citizens’ petition, submitted by the Sierra Club, a number of other environmental organizations, as well as a large number of private citizens, and sought comment and additional information on the petition. Read EPA’s letter to the petitioners (PDF) (1 pp, 84KB) and the response to the petition in the pre-publication copy of the Federal Register document (PDF) (21 pp, 196KB).
Through this process, EPA will develop risk assessments on potential adverse health effects, evaluate the costs and benefits of possible control technologies and approaches, and determine whether EPA action is needed to address any identified risks. The Agency plans to issue an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) in fall 2008.