EWPAA 'flies' safe message on industry's emission levels

News /
7 October 2013
EWPAA executive assistant Sonia Moore is pictured at Plywood House in Brisbane sorting the fliers for distribution to members.

A point-of-sale flier that guarantees Australian and NZ engineered wood products are tested to conform to safe emission levels demanded by health authorities adds to an on-going consumer awareness campaign by the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia.

The fliers, which will be attached to product packs at distribution points, carry a message that products manufactured by EWPAA members are certified Super E0, EO and E1 under a strict JAS-ANZ accredited system. The campaign, which also includes the distribution of thousands of adhesive labels with a similar message to furniture manufacturers, kitchen makers and joiners, follows concerns about imported material, mostly from Asia, that has failed Australian standards formaldehyde emissions.

Laboratory tests by EWPAA have shown some imported wood panels with emissions greater than 3 mg/L, well above safe levels recommended by the federal government’s National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS).

“Random testing reveals unsafe materials are still entering the Australian market – a potentially serious problem,” EWPAA general manager Simon Dorries said.

Recently, plywood and veneer wardrobes and joinery items imported from China and installed on a multi-unit building project in northern NSW were condemned after the Department of Housing found emission levels had “soared through the roof” and the health and safety of occupants was put at risk. The project cost the developers an additional $1.3 million to replace the furniture and employ plumbers and electricians for a complete re-build after the non-compliance order.

NICNAS, which is responsible for the assessment and safe use of industrial chemicals, has advised construction workers and wood panel users against the use of products that contain formaldehyde exceeding the low emission limits of E0 and E1. Products meeting E0 and E1 are considered safe in all applications including indoor and poorly ventilated applications. A report by NICNAS has detailed the potential health hazards associated with formaldehyde exposure from pressed wood products that fail to meet low emission standards.

Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia

The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia provides accreditation for plywood, LVL, particleboard, MDF and solid timber.

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Head Office

Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia

3 Dunlop Street

Newstead, QLD, 4006

Phone: 07 3250 3...

Regional Office/Distributor

ATCA Test Laboratory

Unit 3

45 Tallebudgera Creek Road

West Burleigh, QLD, 4219

Phone: 07 5520 4...