What is CARB Phase 2? Because it is important?

In recent months, the general public has become more aware of what is known as CARB Phase 2. Known cases in the United States involving incorrectly labeled flooring have forced many homeowners to think about the additional safety concerns they should be aware of. While you may not think about it right away, indoor air quality or IAQ is important. Here's the point about California's regulation focused on air quality.

What is CARB?

CARB stands for California Air Resources Board, also known as the Air Resources Board (ARB). It is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. It was established in 1967 with the purpose of maintaining and improving air quality and investigating the causes and solutions of air pollution. CARB mandates, such as CARB 2 compliant MDF, are strict and generally considered the standard in the United States.

What is CARB Phase 2 compliance?

CARB Phase 1 and Phase 2 are part of the California Composite Wood Products Regulation (CWP Regulation), which went into effect in 2009 with Phase 1. The regulation is concerned with reducing formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products, hardwood plywood, particle board and medium density fiberboard (MDF). At the 2009 launch of CARB’s Airborne Toxics Control Measure (ATCM), formaldehyde emissions were limited to .08 parts per million (ppm).

CARB Phase 2 went into effect in 2010 and has much lower formaldehyde emissions than the previous phase; set to .05 ppm. A primary reason CARB ATCM is the most stringent air quality measure is because it has CAPS emissions levels. Other air quality standards are average.

How to check if a product is CARB Phase 2 compliant?

Any product made from hardwood plywood, particle board, or medium-density fiberboard must be labeled with appropriate labeling. To check if a wood composite product meets Formaldehyde Stage 2, look for a label that includes the manufacturer’s name, the date it was produced, and language indicating that the product meets CARB Stage 1 or the limit. CARB Phase 2 issuance plan. These labels often include “Meets California 93120 for formaldehyde” or “Meets California Phase 2.”


Why is CARB Phase 2 compliance important?

This regulation is important because it ensures that the air we breathe is healthy and free of carcinogens that can harm us. As of 2011, formaldehyde was added to the federal government’s list of carcinogens due to its health effects, often irritation of the nose and throat, burning eyes, wheezing or difficulty breathing, headaches, and nausea. Formaldehyde is a colorless gas and is emitted from a variety of sources: fireplaces, tobacco smoke, and wood stoves, to name a few. In the flooring industry, it is often used to make products that include resins that are used as adhesives for composite wood products. The CWP regulation ensures that formaldehyde emissions do not exceed the established limit.