New rules aim to protect consumers from toxic wood products

Some products are inherently dangerous. When consumers purchase knives, table saw and bleach for example, they understand that they must use great caution when interacting with these products. However, some products are dangerous due to defects, toxins or actions on the part of negligent manufacturers. Oftentimes, consumers are unaware of the hazards they face when interacting with these products because they do not appear to be inherently dangerous.

One such dangerous product currently circulating the marketplace is wood treated with toxic chemicals. Due to a great deal of effort on the part of certain safety advocates and bipartisan support in Congress, new rules are finally being enacted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in order to protect consumers from these dangerous products.

In essence, wood that is both imported and manufactured domestically is often being treated with formaldehyde and other dangerous chemicals. While these compounds help to treat, protect and otherwise affect the wood in beneficial ways, the toxins present in the wood can be extremely harmful to those who are directly exposed to it both during and post-manufacturing.

The new EPA rules mandated by legislation passed in 2010 require manufacturers to be held to a strict formaldehyde emission standard and mandate that wood is certified as safe by certain third parties.

Consumers do not generally expect that their flooring, furnishings and other wood products could potentially harm them or their children. The newly enacted EPA rules and others like them ultimately help to ensure that seemingly innocuous consumer products are indeed safe for purchase.

Source: HometownSource, “EPA moves forward with rules to protect consumers from dangerous chemicals in wood products,” June 5, 2013