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Surfaces Review & Upcoming Formaldehyde Fun

Elizabeth Baldwin

Sorry folks, missed a week on the blog!

In any case, a couple of quick thoughts for this week as I finish playing catch-up.

First, as I was leaving CARB, etc. This time I spotted very few obvious ones. However that may well be in part because I didn't see that much logo proliferation. In the last few years, many companies seemed eager to stamp little "green stars" all over the products. This year, the logos and certificates all took a back seat to the product. And well they should.

We should all be good stewards at this point. It should be a given within our industry that we are green by definition. We should all be working hard to make our products out of well-sourced material using healthy chemical components. We don't need a lot of logos and certificates to sell our flooring-at least not to each other. Let's focus on the colors, textures, sizes, construction method and the overall quality. Let the product speak, not the certificates.

That said, we have another regulation that we will soon have to deal with: the upcoming EPA regulations on formaldehyde. This is the national expansion of the California regulation we call CARB. The legislation was passed several years ago, and the EPA and other federal agencies have been trying to figure out the enforcement procedures. The proposed regulations are to be announced shortly, and there will be a short period during which industry and others can provide commentary.

During the show I asked the NWFA and they agreed to form a "formaldehyde task force" to respond to this (and other VOC regulatory issues the industry is facing.)  If folks are interested in participating, drop me a note. 

Of course you don't have to be a formal member of the task force to give me your two cents. I'll be posting information on the regulation here and soliciting comments on the proposed regs. We're all going to have to live with these new regulations for decades to come, so we need to understand them and let the government know what is practical and what is impossible for us to handle.

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