According to Chemical Watch, Denmark has notified the European Commission of changes to its legislation restricting the use and sale of new wood-based materials, including furniture, that emit formaldehyde – a suspected carcinogen.
The government's decree says wood-based materials that emit formaldehyde in a concentration above 0.124mg/m3 of air should not be used in the manufacture of furniture and related parts. For sales of fixed and movable objects, which also includes furniture and kitchen elements, the concentration limit is 0.134mg/m3 of air.
The restriction will not apply to existing furniture and parts that comply with current Danish standards, and those manufactured for export to non-EU countries. Construction products and furniture padding and upholstery are also excluded.
The Danish EPA may waive the limits "in special cases," according to the decree. It may also set conditions for permits.
The new limits will become effective six months after the decree's entry into force for wood-based materials, and one year after for fixed and movable furniture.
Following calls from some NGOs, the Commission has introduced tougher chemical limits on EU Ecolabelwood floorings. These include a restriction on the use of formaldehyde.
And in December, the US EPA set compliance deadlines for its final rule governing formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products.