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The green flooring blog keeps your up to date on all things eco friendly floor related. New to green living or already an expert on the subject? This blog is the place to share information and ideas on green flooring. Exchange green tips with other flooring bloggers and learn how green flooring can make your home more environmentally friendly. To view more flooring blog posts, visit the main floor blog at FindAnyFloor.com.

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Green Blog

CARB Green Adhesive Formaldehyde Emission Standards

By FAF Staff Writer, (221 words) Posted in Health Issues on July 8, 2009
There are (163) comments permalink

Continued from FindAnyFloor's Article titled Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Green Adhesives

CARB stands for the California Air Resources Board, which is a division of the California Environmental Protection Agency. CARB is being released in two phases, the first which went into effect January 1, 2009 and the second which will go into effect on January 1, 2010.


CARB Phase 1 requires adhesives to have formaldehyde emissions that are equal to or less than 0.08 ppm (parts per million). These standards well exceed the formaldehyde emission standards set forth by the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. American National Standards Institute (ANSI), as well as European E1 emission standards.

Once CARB Phase 2 is released, the adhesive formaldehyde emission standards in California will fall to a more stringent 0.05 ppm, which exceed both E1 and E0 Formaldehyde emission standards for green adhesives.

When choosing engineered hardwood flooring, laminate floors, or bamboo floors that contain formaldehyde adhesives, I recommend that you choose floors that meet CARB Phase 1 emission standards, or more preferably CARB Phase 2. You can also choose those that meet Japanese F**** standards which is discussed in the last blog in this series titled Japanese JIS/JAS Formaldehyde Adhesive Emission Standards.

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Ann K posted on: September 5, 2009

Just when I thought I had all my CARBs straight now I have to worry about another CARB!

In all seriousness, it's good to see they are coming out with standards for formaldehyde in adhesives. It drives me batty when a green flooring product (like bamboo) becomes toxic when adhesives filled with formaldehyde are used.

Suresh posted on: December 1, 2009

Hi, I was wondering if the Carb Phase II limits apply across the board to all types of products, including MDF?

Also, I believe that the difficulty in Carb Phase II is in that the upper limits must not exceed, wherelese, E0/JIS standards is an average. Am I correct on this assessment?

Kind regards

Marcel posted on: February 22, 2010

...so is anyone aware of a bent wood furniture manufacturer that does not use urea formaldehyde?
please call me at 949.859.6531.

Win Kryda posted on: February 9, 2011

MDF is most definately covered. In fact one of the main reasons the 2007 Air toxic Control measure was enacted was because of high level of formaldehyde in the adhesives that hold together the saw dust and shavings that make MDF and other "wood" products. Check out the ATCM in Ca Air Resources Board web site.

mike posted on: May 28, 2011

can you drill shelves that complie with carb phase 1?

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I recently purchased phase 2 formaldehyde compliant laminate flooring and I'm so scared to install it. I'm pregnant and the flooring is for my baby's nursery, my bedroom and the hallway out side our bedrooms. Should I relax since it's phase 2 laminate? If I knew about all this before purchasing I would have saved myself the sleepless nights and kept my old carpet. Would someone please let me know....thank you!

teresa posted on: November 18, 2011

all this stuff is scary my mil just bought my son a little wood school bus and on the bottom read formaldehyde phase 2. I know form. has been banned in nail polish, but phase 1 or phase 2 still scary if it goes in the mouth, he is 2. any suggestions, should i accidently knock it into the garbage. lol

Faith posted on: December 4, 2011

I just bought a dresser for my 2 year old from Target. The smell is terrible. She woke up in the middle of the night vomiting. I put her in my bed and she seems to be getting better. I have shut her bedroom door and opened her window. Snow is about to come and we do not have a garage. Should I return this item? It has a sticker with "phase 2 for formaldehyde." Any advice would be nice.

Win Kryda RN posted on: December 31, 2011

Definatly return any furniture that makes you baby ill! Unfortunately a lot of the Target low cost furniture is made in countries without adequate safety regulations. Getting older furniture @ a used furniture store is safer.

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can someone confirm that whether the bentwood products need CARB certificate or not?
as i heard that if the bentwood is glued and simutaneously formed in the mold, then it's exempt for CARB, but if the bentwood is made from a glued flat board, that means the board is already made before it bends to shape, then it needs CARB, i don't find the statement of the bentwood in the regulation, can someone give me a hint where i can find this in the regulation? thanks.

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