6 May 2016
Mexico Mulls Maximum Formaldehyde Emissions and Content Limits in Certain Wooden Products
Mexico’s Ministry of Economy is accepting comments through 18 June on a proposal to establish maximum formaldehyde emissions and content limits in domestically-produced and imported wood chipboard and wood fibreboard made with urea-formaldehyde resins as well as products (such as furniture and parts thereof) made from wood chipboard or wood fibreboard. Mexican authorities note that the formaldehyde required in the formulation of urea-formaldehyde adhesive resins for the production of wood-based panels is a highly volatile gas at normal pressure and its presence in the air in high concentrations can pose a health hazard to humans.
Compliance with the proposed regulation would be satisfied if the product meets either a maximum formaldehyde emissions limit or a maximum formaldehyde content limit, as there is a high correlation between formaldehyde emissions and content. The emissions limits would be 0.18 parts per million for wood particleboard, 0.21 ppm for wood fibreboard of a thickness greater than eight millimetres, and 0.22 ppm for wood fibreboard of a thickness equal to or lower than eight millimetres. The maximum content limits would be 9.08 milligrams for every 100 grams of dry board mass for wood particleboard, 10.64 mg/100 g for wood fibreboard of a thickness greater than eight millimetres, and 11.15 mg/100 g for wood fibreboard of a thickness equal to or lower than eight millimetres.
Formaldehyde emissions and content would be measured in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 7.8 and Chapter 7.9, respectively, of Mexican Norm NMX-C-462-ONNCCE. Importers would be required to submit for each shipment of subject merchandise a certificate of compliance issued by a certification body accredited and approved by the Ministry of Economy.
A final regulation would enter into force 60 days from its date of publication in Mexico’s official journal. Until such time as Mexican authorities accredit and approve a certification body to test formaldehyde emissions and content of subject merchandise in Mexico, mutual recognition agreements will be signed with foreign certification bodies so that any certificates issued by those bodies can be accepted in Mexico.