What’s CARB Phase II compliance and what does it have to do with your floor?
In April 2007, California’s Air Resources Board, (CARB), working under the Environmental Protection Agency, instituted regulations regarding formaldehyde levels allowed in composite wood products.
Composite wood products are defined as “panels made from pieces, chips, particles, or fibers of wood bonded together with a resin.”
This regulation specifically applies to hardwood plywood, particleboard, and medium density fiberboard (MDF). Because of their widespread use, composite wood products are required to be labeled as CARB Phase II Compliant. This applies to many types of interior pieces, like doors, cabinets, furniture, and flooring.
If a product is labelled as CARB Phase II Compliant, it meets the standards of acceptable levels of formaldehyde. It also allows the product to be sold in California and other places that have these regulations.
What’s the Fuss with Formaldehyde?
Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring, organic compound found in nature. However, exposure to concentrated levels of it can cause adverse health effects.
Formaldehyde is part of a large family of chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The term volatile means that the compounds vaporize or become a gas at room temperature.
Formaldehyde is an important industrial chemical used to make other types of products. These include household cleaners, landscape and yard treatments, medicinal and personal care products, paints and adhesives, among other items.
Portercraft Products And Carb 2 Compliance
All of our multi-ply floors are CARB 2 compliant. This includes our engineered products.
Some engineered flooring may not be labeled CARB 2 compliant, but it doesn’t mean it is not compliant.
Solid lumber or wood core engineered flooring do not fall under CARB restrictions. Even so, these are tested independently. And rest assured – many of these solid core products show much lower levels of formaldehyde than even the CARB 2 standard.
What Are The Actual CARB ATCM Phase II Emission Standards?
|Hardwood Plywood – Veneer Core||0.05 ppm of formaldehyde|
|Hardwood Plywood – Composite Core||0.05 ppm of formaldehyde|
|Medium-Density Fiberboard||0.11 ppm of formaldehyde|
|Thin Medium-Density Fiberboard||0.13 ppm of formaldehyde|
|Particleboard||0.09 ppm of formaldehyde|
As your go-to flooring partner, you can trust that we have sourced the safest and most beautiful flooring available.
For a deeper dive into CARB Phase II Compliance, visit these sites:
Frequent Questions for Consumers about the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act | US EPA
Composite Wood Products Airborne Toxic Control Measure | California Air Resources Board
Final Recommendations For Avoiding Formaldehyde
Here’s a couple recommendations to avoid formaldehyde in your flooring:
- Install prefinished flooring that is in compliance with CARB 2 standards.
- If installing unfinished wood floors, use finishes that are not “acid-cured,” which contains high levels of formaldehyde.
- Avoid breathing cigarette and wood smoke as well as combustion engine exhaust.
- Avoid high household temperatures and maintain humidity in the home at less than 50%.
- Ensure proper ventilation in the home especially when using products with VOCs.