Panels & Furniture Asia Mar/Apr 2020

March / April 2020, Issue 2 | Panels & Furniture Asia 28 | PANELS MANUFACTURING TIGHTENING THE GRIP ON FORMALDEHYDE EMISSIONS With Malaysia preparing to introduce regulations on formaldehyde emission in wood- based boards, the measurement and control of this chemical may be of growing interest for manufacturers in this region. I n Malaysia, the government has recommended last year for formaldehyde emission to be set at a limit of ≤ 1.5 mg/L (F**/E1 class) on imported and locally produced wood- based panels products. Even in Southeast Asian countries where formaldehyde emission levels are not regulated, formaldehyde emission standard is something that manufacturers are familiar with as many export-oriented producers have to adhere to the standards set by importing countries. In Vietnam, for example, its main wood- based panel furniture and composite materials markets are the U.S. (40 per cent), the EU (20 per cent), India, South Korea and Japan in 2018. Of these countries, the U.S., EU and Japan have different formaldehyde emission standards to be met, and these standards are continuously revised over time. THE EFFECTS OF FORMALDEHYDE EMISSIONS As the wood products industry grows rapidly in Southeast Asia, the use of formaldehyde-based resins continues to be extensive in the production of wood- based panels such as particleboard, medium-density fibreboards, plywood and oriented strand board. According to a paper released in 2018 by the Organisation for Economic Co- operation and Development (OECD) that studied the economic valuation in formaldehyde regulation, Asia accounts for almost half (48 per cent) of global formaldehyde production, followed by Europe (23 per cent) and North America (17 per cent) in 2013. Asia is also the largest consumer (47 per cent) of The GA300 Lab Formaldehyde Tester By Szeto Hiu Yan