Officials for the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) have expressed significant concerns regarding recently proposed Canadian regulations for formaldehyde emissions, including among imported composite wood products, which are recognized as containing carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Comments submitted by WDMA to Canadian officials raise issue with the differences between proposed Canadian provisions and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations, which a statement from Canadian officials released in the Canada Gazette says their regulations were intended to exemplify.

“In order to reduce compliance costs for Canadian companies, and to facilitate regulatory alignment and create a level playing field with the United States, the proposed Regulations have been very closely aligned with the U.S. regulations,” the statement reads.

Among the differences from EPA regulations (TSCA Title VI) addressed by WDMA officials are provisions for labeling and record-keeping that officials say would necessitate U.S. manufacturers who do not already have facilities in Canada to establish a Canadian presence.

“These discrepancies, if left unaddressed, have the potential to create disruption in both the U.S. and Canadian supply chains and marketplaces,” says Michael O’Brien, WDMA president and CEO.

The comments from WDMA also express concern over “unclear applicability” for the requirement to submit highly detailed annual reports to the Canadian government on production and sale of composite wood products.

“We support the intent of the proposed regulations, but they should not result in undue compliance costs and administrative burdens for manufacturers of composite wood products, especially for architectural wood door manufacturers,” says O’Brien.

The intentions of regulations such as TSCA Title VI and the proposed Canadian regulations include reducing exposure to formaldehyde emissions, which have been linked to several mild to severe health concerns as laid out in the statement from Canadian officials. Health risks range anywhere from worsened asthma—especially in children—to cancer of the nasal passageways, depending on the amount of exposure.

Canada currently has voluntary standards for formaldehyde emission from composite wood products that have been fairly successful in reducing exposure, according to the statement in the Canada Gazette, but this would be the first mandatory regulation to be enforced.

The proposed Canadian regulations will become effective six months after publication of the final regulations in the Canada Gazette. However, it is unknown when the final regulations will be released.

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