CARB in the News

Consumer awareness about CARB certifications on flooring became front page news early in 2015 when 60 Minutes aired an expose about Lumber Liquidators and their questionable and illegal practice of selling non-compliant laminate and wood floors and then marking their packages with CARB 2 seals and certificates that were fake. Please read below to learn moare about CARB 2. All of the laminate and hardwood flooring products we sell at Crazy Flooring Deals is CARB 2 and ATCM certified.

What do CARB and ATCM mean?

In 2007, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved a new standard of formaldehyde emissions controls called the Airborne Toxics Control Measure (ATCM). The measure provides standard formaldehyde emissions ratings for all composite wood and manufactured wood products, including particleboard, hardwood, plywood, medium-density fiberboard, and also from finished products manufactured with composite wood parts. The two-phase plan requires manufacturers to comply with strict standards for any product that includes a composite wood product for manufacturing, sale, use, or supply within the state of California. The CARB study suggests that substandard composite wood products currently generate up to 5% of household formaldehyde emissions.


The ATCM is intended to bring California standards up to meet existing Japanese and European formaldehyde emissions standards. Currently in force in Japan is the Japanese JIS/JAS Formaldehyde Adhesive Emission Standards, which was defined by the Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) in conjunction with the Japanese Agricultural Standards (JAS) department. Using a testing methodology called the Desiccator Test Method, emissions released from the wood are measured and rated. Ratings are assigned as, F*, F**, F***, and F****. F**** has the least measure of formaldehyde emissions, below 0.005 mg/m2h and was previously the most stringent of worldwide standards. European standards established in 2000 by the European Panel Industry included E1, 9mg/100g and below, E2, greater than 9mg/100g to below 30mg/100g, and E3, greater than 30mg/100g. A new ratings classification that compares to Japan's higher standard has been more recently developed, E0, based on emissions measuring 0.5mg and less per liter. Europeans use a different test method that Japan, based on the Perforator Test Method, which is used to determine formaldehyde levels within the wood product from the inside.

Phase 1 and Phase 2

Phase 1 began on January 1, 2009. The new ATCM formaldehyde emission standards of equal to or less than 0.08 ppm (parts per million) took effect for hardwood, plywood, particleboard, and medium density fiberboard. This first step exceeds previous standards set by OSHA already in effect.
Phase 2 emission standards are slated for a staggered release beginning in January of 2010 through 2012. Phase 2 specifies even higher standards for formaldehyde emissions in wood products, 0.05 ppm, a higher standard than even the European E0 rating.


Although the ATCM currently affects only California, the impact is expected to reach far beyond to resonate eventually with all U.S. states. Current U.S. law regarding formaldehyde emissions are inadequate, and the CARB study is both impactful and an important health concern for taxpayers, whose growing environmental concerns are providing the pressure and impetus necessary to influence lawmakers to make environmentally sound decisions. Environmentalists hope that this measure will be adopted across the board to reduce the formaldehyde emissions in every American home and produce cleaner air for the generations to come.


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