SGS Becomes First CARB Third-Party Certification Agency in China, Launches Formaldehyde Testing for Local Fiberboard Manufacturers
SGS Consumer Testing Services announced today that its testing laboratory in Hong Kong has earned Third-Party Certifier (TPC) status from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for verification of composite wood products to ensure compliance with formaldehyde emission standards set forth in California State Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM).
SGS is the first testing organization to achieve the TPC designation in China, offering local service for the country’s 900 panel manufacturers and helping all members of the distribution chain including retailers conform to CARB regulations. SGS anticipates TPC approval for its Guangzhou laboratory within the next month.
CARB approval of SGS labs in China eliminates the time and expense of sending materials from Chinese factories to the U.S. for formaldehyde emission testing. SGS operates both large and small testing chambers to perform the two testing methodologies recognized by CARB, accommodate panels of all sizes, and provide rapid turnaround. The availability of multiple SGS testing chambers also offers ample capacity to service the needs of a broad spectrum of clients before the new emission standards take effect in 2009 as well as for subsequent quarterly emissions verifications required under CARB regulations.
As an approved TPC, SGS will also be able to provide auditing and in-house testing validation for manufacturers that have properly calibrated and approved testing chambers. The deadline for Phase I of the new CARB caps on formaldehyde emissions in medium-density fiberboard (MDF), particle board, and two kinds of plywood is January 1, 2009.
“The first deadline for CARB compliance is weeks away, yet only a handful of the 900 composite wood products factories in China are certified. Our acceptance as China’s first Third-Party Certification agency offers a fast, easy solution,” said Chuck Coletta, SGS Technical Director for International Hardlines Services. “At the same time, this will have a ripple effect throughout the chain of custody by ensuring that all parties are CARB-compliant – down to the retail level where enforcement is expected to take place.”
The CARB regulation, called the Airborne Toxic Control Measure to Reduce Formaldehyde Emissions from Composite Wood Products (ATCM), was adopted in 2008 to limit public exposure to formaldehyde because of its carcinogenic properties. Composite wood panels were targeted because they comprise the largest block of controllable formaldehyde-emitting products.
CARB’s formaldehyde limits in composite wood products apply not only to manufacturers but also to fabricators, importers, distributors and retailers who produce, supply, use or sell products made from these materials – including furniture, consumer shelving, DIY products, flooring, paneling, molding and picture frames – in California. All parties in the distribution chain are equally liable and can be fined for non-compliance. Several other states are now considering formaldehyde controls similar to California’s.
More information about SGS’s CARB Testing Services is available at www.us.sgs.com/carbChuck Coletta
Consumer Testing Services
The SGS Group is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Founded in 1878, SGS is recognized as the global benchmark in quality and integrity. With more than 53,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,000 offices and laboratories around the world.