Fact sheet: Formaldehyde in chip board and similar products
Chip board, plywood, and other wood-based panels containing formaldehyde-emitting glue may only be used in furniture and furnishings if they release no more than 0.15 milligrams of formaldehyde per cubic metre of air when tested in a climate chamber.
If an enterprise is unable to document fulfilment of this requirement, they are permitted to use panels with a maximum free formaldehyde level of 25 milligrams per 100 grams dry matter in the panel.
These regulations apply to all chip board, plywood and similar panels made using glue that emits formaldehyde.
Please also note the requirements in the Danish building regulations.
Formaldehyde causes allergies and is carcinogenic
The use of formaldehyde must be limited as it is a strong irritant to human eyes and upper airways, provokes allergies, can cause allergic contact dermatitis, and is carcinogenic.
Producers and importers are responsible
Anyone who produces or imports chip board, plywood, furniture or furnishings, etc., is responsible for ensuring compliance with the regulation, as laid down in the Statutory Order (see below).
The Environmental Protection Agency’s chemical inspectors monitor compliance with the regulations and will ensure that illegal situations are brought into compliance. This may involve withdrawing the product from the Danish market, or making the product legal. Anyone who breaks the regulation may additionally face a fine.
The complete Statutory Order:
Ministry of the Environment Statutory Order no. 289 of 22 June 1983 on limits for formaldehyde in chip board, plywood and similar panels used in furniture and furnishings (in Danish).
The Danish building regulations are available from the Danish Enterprise and Construction Authority website:
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