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Formaldehyde is a colourless gas that is emitted mainly from household products and building materials. Formaldehyde is commonly found in indoor air. It can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat and can worsen asthma symptoms, especially in children. When found at high levels in air, such as those found in some workplace environments, it can be detected by a sharp smell and has been associated with cancer of the nasal passageways. Formaldehyde can be emitted from certain products, such as building materials and some furniture. Health Canada has shown that formaldehyde is released from more than 90% of select composite wood products tested, and releases of the substance increase with higher temperatures and humidity. It can also be released from sources like cigarette smoke, the use of fireplaces, and when cooking.
On July 7, 2021, the final Formaldehyde Emissions from Composite Wood Products Regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. The regulations help reduce exposure of Canadians to formaldehyde emissions in indoor air from composite wood products sold, offered for sale or imported into Canada. The regulations place limits on the amount of formaldehyde that composite wood products can emit. Further to the requirements to meet emission limits, the regulations would impose requirements on industry for record keeping, labelling, and reporting. They also align Canadian requirements for composite wood products with similar requirements in the United States (U.S.), thereby helping to minimize burden for businesses operating in both Canada and the U.S.
Stakeholders are asked to submit their inquiries to hc.formaldehyde-formaldehyde[email protected]
A list of Canadian and international standards, and their applicable versions, incorporated by reference in the regulations is available upon request from hc.formaldehyde-formaldehyde[email protected]
On June 29, 2019, the proposed Formaldehyde Emissions from Composite Wood Products Regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 75-day public comment period which ended on September 12, 2019. Comments and information received during the public comment period was considered in the development of the final regulations.
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