Pursuant to the Ordinance concerning the imposition of prohibitions and restrictions on the marketing and sales of specific substances, compounds and products in accordance with the Chemicals Act (ChemVerbotsV), special requirements regarding formaldehyde also apply to wood-based materials in Germany (see Annex 1 to §3, Entry 1). According to this, coated and uncoated wood-based materials (particle board, blockboard, veneer board and fiberboard) cannot be placed on the market if the equilibrium concentration of formaldehyde - caused by the wood-based material - in the air of a test room exceeds 0.1 ml/cbm (ppm).
The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) announces the analytical procedures for the sampling and investigation of the substances or groups of substances specified in the Act.
On 26th November 2018, the BMU published in the Federal Gazette the new testing specifications for wood-based materials with regard to formaldehyde for the fulfillment of the ChemVerbotsV. The announcement can be viewed (in German) on the Federal Gazette website by entering the keywords “ChemVerbotsV” and “Anlage 1” in the search mask:
Link to the Bundesanzeiger website
The test procedures and limit values applicable until now, which can be found in Bundesgesundheitsblatt 34 dated October 1991, will be replaced by these new requirements with effect from 1st January 2020.
The chamber method EN 16516, with special requirements regarding product loading (1.8 m²/m³), is designated as the reference procedure. Tests in accordance with the chamber method EN 717-1 can still be performed; the test results must, however, be multiplied by a factor of 2 (so-called “additional method”).
For testing methods which are currently used in self-monitoring (perforator and gas-analysis methods), no generally applicable limit values have been specified. In the future, product-specific manufacturer correlations should be used in order to evaluate the wood-based materials within the framework of the factory production control (FPC).
Similarly, the methods of factory production control are not specified. A wide variety of testing procedures (e.g. EN, ISO, ASTM, JIS) can therefore be applied, provided a correlation to the chamber method has been substantiated and a product-specific limit value calculated.
On the basis of the forthcoming specifications, the Fraunhofer WKI is therefore offering the certification procedure “WKI E1 2020”.
The focus of the new certification procedure is directed at the chamber test procedure, whereby EN 16516 or EN 717-1 can optionally be applied. The method for self-monitoring in the manufacturer's laboratory is determined in consultation with the manufacturing plant and has an initial correlation with at least five data pairs as its foundation.
The external monitoring hereby differentiates between uncoated and coated (here: melamine coating) wood-based materials.