Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): Proposed New ‘Delegated Act’
26th April 2017
The European panels industry has been working on the Formaldehyde/VOC issue for many years with all wood based panels now conforming to current EU emissions regulations. The testing method for wood based panels is laid out in annex B of EN 13986. TTF National Panel Product Division (NPPD) members are also already committed to only trade in wood based panels which achieve the E1 formaldehyde emission class (≤ 0.124 mg/m3 air).
However, a newly proposed EU ‘delegated act’, attempts to include all construction products covered under the CPR, into a new, single VOC classification scheme. It is intended that this new scheme will cover both naturally occurring VOCs, such as those emitted by pine resin, and those arising from materials added during manufacture such as Formaldehyde VOCs from glues and resins. On this basis, it will be impossible for Wood and Wood based products now to achieve top classification with 0 emissions under the new proposed system. Most wood-produced natural VOC’s (including pinene) have no known harmful effects on human health in the emitted concentrations and are therefore not cause for concern.
The European Panels Federation (EPF) and CEI Bois are campaigning for a temporary derogation on wood products under this act in order for further studies to be conducted in Germany. There remains the issue of who will lobby on behalf of products manufactured outside of the EU since these will also be covered by the act.
This issue will be monitored closely by the TTF since there is no definitive timeline for implementation. The influence of the competing materials lobby in a post-brexit scenario is a cause for concern considering that a situation which is damaging to wood based products may find favourable lobbying from competing materials sectors.
Future updates will appear on the TTF blog.