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Formaldehyde is known to cause irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat.  High levels of exposure may cause some types of cancers. Commonly found in resin or glue, formaldehyde is used in manufacturing composite wood products such as hardwood plywood (HWPW), medium-density fibreboard  (MDF) and particleboard (PB). However, formaldehyde requirements in consumer products containing composite wood are not yet harmonized in the EU.

Despite the absence of harmonized formaldehyde requirements, a number of EN standards are published to provide procedures to determine formaldehyde release in wood-based panels. 

Recently, European Committee for Standardization (CEN) has adopted two ISO standards: ISO 12460-3:2015 and ISO 12460-5:2015, and published two technically equivalent EN standards: EN ISO 12460-3:2015 and EN ISO 12460-5:2015. The new two standards are technically similar to the withdrawn standards, except the procedures on determination of formaldehyde in water extract.

title standard scope supersedes date of publication
EN ISO 12460-3: 2015 Wood-based panels - Determination of formaldehyde release - Part 3: Gas analysis method (ISO 12460-3:2015) Un-Coated and coated wood-based panels EN 717-2:1994/ AC:2002 31 May 2016
EN ISO 12460-5: 2015 Wood-based panels - Determination of formaldehyde release - Part 5: Extraction method (called the "Perforator" method) (ISO 12460-5:2015) Un-Laminated and Un-Coated wood-based panels EN 120:1992 30 June 2016
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