Story | 04/17/2024 07:47:19 | 3 min Read time

Low formaldehyde emissions from WISA plywood meet clean indoor air requirements

Janne Suokas

Editor, Tulus

All UPM's WISA plywood products intended for construction meet the requirements of the US TSCA Title VI standard for low formaldehyde emissions from wood-based materials. The formaldehyde emissions from WISA plywood are also below both the current limits set by the European Union and the stricter limits that will come into force in 2026.

WISA plywood users may have noticed the recently added TSCA Title VI Compliant label on product packaging and shipping documents. The TSCA acronym stands for Toxic Substances Control Act, which regulates the manufacture, use and sale of chemicals in the United States. The TSCA Title VI of the Act specifically regulates formaldehyde emissions from wood-based materials. The aim is to reduce indoor exposure to formaldehyde, which can cause respiratory problems and other health hazards. Formaldehyde emissions can be caused, for example, by the adhesive used in plywood.

All UPM Plywood mills producing WISA plywood have been approved to the TSCA Title VI standard. Testing and certification have been carried out by an independent third-party certifier recognized by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

"WISA plywood products are safe building materials that meet the requirements for clean and healthy indoor air. The TSCA Title VI Compliant label indicates that WISA products have been tested to have very low formaldehyde emissions and are suitable for use in all indoor environments used by humans," says Riku Härkönen, Product Manager, UPM Plywood.

"The TSCA Title VI Compliant label allows customers and distributors to use, process and sell WISA plywood products in the US market with confidence. Clear emission limits can be assigned to the products, and   users can cite these in their own documentation, for example when handing over a building to the client." 

 

WISA plywood also meets EU's stricter formaldehyde emission requirements

The TSCA Title VI Compliant label became mandatory in 2019 for wood products sold in the US, including plywood, MDF and particleboard, and it replaces the CARB label issued by the California state authorities. At the same time, requirements for formaldehyde emissions were tightened.

Europe is also moving in the same direction. Currently, formaldehyde emissions from wood panels in the European Union are regulated by the EN 13986 standard. The standard classifies wood materials into two categories, with the stricter E1 class applying to materials used indoors.

With the new EU 2023/1464 regulation, stricter formaldehyde emission limits for wood-based materials, furniture, and a wide range of other products will come into force in August 2026.

All WISA products meet both the current E1 class and the stricter formaldehyde emission requirements of the forthcoming EU 2023/1464 regulation. In addition, all WISA plywood products intended for construction meet the Finnish M1 emission classification.

"We do not compromise on any of the requirements for WISA plywood: all our products are safe, certified and compliant with the standards. Furthermore, we are continually improving the environmental performance of WISA plywood, as demonstrated by the WISA BioBond bonding technology, which replaces fossil phenol with wood-based lignin. When products have low emissions, they are also safe for workers to manufacture," Härkönen concludes.

 
 
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