In recent months, the general public has become more aware of what is known as CARB Phase 2. With cases involving big box stores and improperly labeled flooring products, it has forced many homeowners to think about the additional safety concerns they should be aware of. While you may not think of it right away, indoor air quality, or IAQ, is important. Here’s the skinny on the California regulation focused on air quality.
CARB stands for California Air Resources Board, also known as 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 researching causes and solutions of air pollution. CARB’s mandates, such as CARB 2 compliant MDF, are strict and usually are considered the standard across the United States.
This regulation is important because it ensures the air we breathe is healthy and free from carcinogens that can harm us. As of 2011, formaldehyde was added to the federal government’s carcinogen list due to its health effects – often nose and throat irritation, 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 burning stoves, to name a few. In the flooring industry, it’s often used to make products including resins that are used as adhesives for composite wood products. The CWP regulation ensures formaldehyde emissions do not exceed the limit set.