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Regulatory Context

Regulatory Context

Table 2 summarizes pertinent regulations that affect the use of formaldehyde both in the United States and internationally.

Table 2. Summary of Regulations

US Federal Regulation
Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-know Act
  • Subject to reporting under TRI Sec. 313
  • 500 lb reporting threshold under TPQ Sec. 302 and 100 lb reporting threshold under Sec. 304
Clean Air Act
  • A listed Hazardous Air Pollutant, and is subject to the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards for devices under the Clean Air Act.
Occupational Safety and Health Act
  • Time weighted average permissible exposure limit = 0.75 ppm
  • Short term exposure limit = 2 ppm
  • Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health limit = 100 ppm
  • Employers must take action to protect employees if exposures reach 0.5 ppm. 
Safe Drinking Water Act Federal drinking water guidelines are for no more than 1,000 mg/l formaldehyde.
Consumer Product Safety Commission All household products with 1% or more formaldehyde to bear a warning label.
FIFRA Registered pesticide
Massachusetts Regulations
Toxics Use Reduction Act Designated as a high hazard substance, and subject to reporting when more than 1,000 lb/year used
Public and Environmental Health Ambient Air Guidelines: 24-hour threshold effects exposure limit is 2 ppb; allowable ambient limit: 0.06 ppb
Other U.S. State Regulations
California Listed as a carcinogen under Proposition 65 of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxics Act of 1986
International Regulations
European Union Formaldehyde is a candidate for authorization under the REACH directive
Non-Regulatory Initiatives
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design No urea-formaldehyde resins may be used in building products under this leadership standard