Canada Proposes Regulations Governing Formaldehyde Emissions from Composite Wood Products

Posted on: July 23, 2019

by Tammy J. Murphy

particle board - Learn about Canada's proposal on regulations on formaldehyde transmission of composite woodsIn the 29 June 2019 edition of the Canada Gazette, Part I, proposed Regulations addressing Formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products were published.  Although there are currently voluntary industry standards for Formaldehyde emissions from these products, there are no Regulations covering these types of emissions.  Formaldehyde emissions are of concern both in residential and workplace indoor environments due to the health risks.

The proposed Regulations would cover wood composite products that are imported into, sold or offered for sale within Canada and would apply primarily to those products used indoors.  The US currently has requirements for Formaldehyde emissions from wood composite products and the Canadian proposed Regulations would be similar to these.

Per the Notice, maximum levels for emissions of Formaldehyde from composite wood products would be as follows:

  • 0.05 ppm for hardwood plywood;
  • 0.09 ppm for particle board;
  • 0.11 ppm for medium-density fibre board;
  • 0.13 ppm for thin medium-density fibre board; and
  • 0.05 ppm for laminated products.

Aside from the emission limits, testing methods and quality control requirements as well as labeling, record-keeping and reporting requirements are also covered.

The Regulations would come into force 6 months from the date of publication of the final Regulations.  Phase out time frames have also been proposed: “some laminated products would be exempted from the emission requirement until five years after the Regulations come into force” and products that were either already manufactured or imported prior to the coming into force date would have to be sold within three years.

There is a 75-day, from date of publication, public comment period as well as a 60-day, from date of publication, notice of objection filing period.

The full text of the proposed Regulations should be consulted for complete details.

Additional information on both the proposed Regulations and Formaldehyde can be found on the Government of Canada’s Chemical Substances website:

Action Items:

  • Review the proposed Regulations to see if any of your products will be affected.
  • Determine how your products will be affected by the proposed Regulations.
  • Submit comments and/or notice of objection by the respective deadlines.


Department of the Environment and Department of Health, Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, Proposed Regulations – “Formaldehyde Emissions from Composite Wood Products Regulations.” Canada Gazette, Part I, 29 June 2019 edition:


Canada, CEPA 1999, Formaldehyde Emissions, Composite Wood Products

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