Health Canada Issues Guideline on Formaldehyde Emissions From Composite Wood Products

Health Canada issued guidance titled the Formaldehyde Emissions from Composite Wood Products Regulations designed to regulate said emissions from composite wood panels, laminated products, and finished goods. The purpose of the document is to provide general knowledge on how certain composite wood products emit formaldehyde emissions in indoor air. In doing so, this can educate the reader on the risk and potential adverse health effects associated with formaldehyde exposure.

The regulations guidelines seek to align with the Toxic Substances Control Act, Title VI ‘Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products’ in the United States (U.S.) The U.S. act analyzes formaldehyde emission standards in hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboards, thin-MDF, particleboards, and laminated products. The act also includes third-party certification programs, incentives for products manufactured from ultra-low emitting formaldehyde resins and no added-formaldehyde-based resins, as well as product labeling, Accreditation Bodies, and Third-Party Certifiers.

The Health Canada regulation came into effect on January 7 and testing and third-party certification requirements for laminated productions will be applied from January 7 onwards. On August 12, 2022, Health Canada informed the public of its regulation document and how its purpose is to support stakeholders in complying with the guidance document.

Important Information In the Formaldehyde Emissions Document

The Guideline on Formaldehyde Emissions From Composite Wood Products contains a number of important notions to be aware of to comply with the law. For example, woody veneers are exempted so long as they are glued to alternate cores instead of wood product cores, such as lumber cores. Products composed of composite wood glued to thin layers of material instead of wood veneer are also exempt. This material could include laminate flooring or laminate kitchen counters.

The regulation also requires primary testing using ASTM E1333 (large chamber) or an ASTM D6007 (small chamber) to be utilized four times a year during a specific time period by an accredited laboratory and quality control testing. A non-exhaustive list of quality-control testing methods must also be provided as details into the testing frequency based on weekly or monthly production. Certification is a prerequisite for composite wood panels and laminated products before being sold or imported into Canada.

For more information on the details of the Guideline on Formaldehyde Emissions From Composite Wood Products, visit Government of


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