Canadian Manufacturing

New standard helps limit formaldehyde emissions and improves air quality

CAN/CSA‑O160 applies to newly manufactured, unfinished composite wood panels prior to use in construction, finishing, or installation



—Sponsored article by CSA Group

Formaldehyde emissions from composite wood building materials commonly offered for sale across Canada can cause adverse health effects. Consumers, manufacturers and builders agree there’s a need to limit these emissions to improve indoor air quality and better protect individuals who are exposed to these products.

CSA Group is pleased to announce the publication of CAN/CSA O160—Formaldehyde Emissions Standard for Composite Wood Products, a new National Standard of Canada intended to help protect Canadians by improving indoor air quality in their homes.

The standard specifies the requirements for product sample collection, emissions testing, marking, labeling, and sets maximum emission limits. CAN/CSA-O160’s formaldehyde emission limits are harmonized with the requirements of California Air Resources Board (CARB) Phase 2. Manufacturers can use CARB Phase 2 compliance towards demonstrating they meet the requirements of CAN/CSA‑O160.

CAN/CSA‑O160 applies to newly manufactured, unfinished composite wood panels prior to use in construction, finishing, or installation. These include:
• Hardwood plywood (including composite and veneer core);
• Particleboard;
• Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) and thin MDF.

The standard was developed using a health-based approach while focusing on defining maximum emissions limits for each product type in order to meet Health Canada’s Residential Indoor Air Quality Guideline for formaldehyde. This helps ensure products complying with CAN/CSA-O160 can be safely used in residential homes without posing a health risk to the people who live there.

The standard will also allow users to either comply with the standard labelling: “Complies with CAN/CSA-O160” or participate in a certification program that would allow labelling as “Certified to CAN/CSA-O160”. The requirements by which a user can demonstrate certification to the standard is also included.

CAN/CSA‑O160 is now available at no charge in PDF format in both English and French. For more information on this standard, please visit CSA Group’s website.

This article is part of Cleantech Canada’s Safety & Sustainability Showcase, delivering top strategies for environmental performance and clean technology growth.

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