26 December 2018 (Wednesday) – Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) has taken proactive measures to become a recognised testing body for formaldehyde emission based on international certification/regulatory schemes to help local industry players in overcoming market barriers imposed by importing countries.
Most wood panel products use synthetic resin such as urea formaldehyde (UF), phenol formaldehyde (PF) and melamine urea formaldehyde as adhesive material. However, the toxic and colourless formaldehyde has been categorised as a carcinogenic substance by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Union (EU). Hence, importing countries has imposed strict regulations and standards on wood products to ensure the safety and quality of these products.
|Wood samples placed in a small chamber for formaldehyde content test.||Letterrecognition for FRIM as a testing body under CARB regulation.|
FRIM has been recognised as the testing body under the ‘California Air Resources Board’ (CARB) regulation since January 2013 and Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) certification scheme in March 2013.
JAS is a standard set by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), Japan for the certification of imported plywood and laminated veneer lumber (LVL) products. The scheme also includes mechanical tests on wood products.
Since 2009, CARB regulations have been imposed on particleboard panels, medium density fibreboard (MDF) panels and hardwood plywood panels as well as finished products in California. In 2017, the United States of America (USA) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued and enforced a new regulation on formaldehyde emissions, in linewith the CARB regulations, for the whole country.
“As the leading research institute in tropical forestry, FRIM is always prepared to assist the local timber industry. With the testing services offered, FRIM helps to ensure our country’s productsare of good quality and safe, in compliance with international standard requirements,” said FRIM Director General Dato’ Dr Abd Latif Mohmod.
|Rafeadah (left) and assistant Faezah Mohd testing formaldehyde content of a sample using a UV Spectrophotometer.||Formaldehyde Emission Testing Course participants posing for a group picture with TRAF staff.|
FRIM Resin and Formaldehyde Analysis Technology Unit (TRAF) is well-equipped with testing facilities such as desiccator, perforator as well as large and small chamber. FRIM has worked with the industry in providing consultation and training services. To date, over 30 local and global companies from Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Korea and Thailand have used the FRIM services.
For more information on formaldehyde test services and courses, please contact TRAF Head Dr Rafeadah Rusli at firstname.lastname@example.org.