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SCS Certified Under California's Formaldehyde Regulation Law

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Scientific Certification Systems ( SCS ), an internationally recognized third-party certifier headquartered in the San Francisco Bay area, announced that it has become the first certification body based in California to earn accreditation under the state Air Resources Board's new Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ACTM 93120) aimed at restricting formaldehyde emissions from composite wood materials and products. Only ten certification bodies worldwide have achieved this accreditation to date. "SCS is pleased to be recognized by ARB as a go-to resource for material manufacturers and fabricators seeking third-party certification under the new regulations," said Dr. Robert Hrubes, SCS Senior Vice President. "This new certification category is a natural complement to other air quality and material content certification services we have been providing to the green building and consumer products industries for the past two decades." The state of California established the groundbreaking regulations in response to a 2004 international reclassification of formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen, and its 1992 designation by the state as a "toxic air contaminant" (TAC) with no known safe level of exposure . In addition to increased risk of nasopharyngeal cancer, formaldehyde is also associated with asthma, breathing difficulty, nausea, and eye, nose and throat irritation. Urea formaldehyde used as an adhesive in composite wood materials and products is considered to be a major source of exposure, particularly indoors, where formaldehyde concentrations are typically two to ten times higher than outdoors. Materials covered under the new regulations include hardwood plywood, particleboard, medium density fiberboard, and thin medium density fiberboard. Manufacturers selling into the state — either private or public sector — must demonstrate compliance with Phase 1 of the new regulations by January 2009 (hardwood plywood materials with composite cores have until July 2009). The emission restrictions will then be ratcheted up to levels that are even more stringent over a three-year period. All raw material manufacturers are required to demonstrate their compliance with the regulations through accredited third-party certifiers, who are responsible for confirming conformance, including coordination of all testing and verification of record keeping, record retention and labeling. Furniture and other finished products made with these materials are also covered under the regulations. Finished product manufacturers selling goods in California must actively begin phasing out inventories of non-compliant materials, offering only compliant products by mid-2010. "The strict measures adopted by the state of California demand exceedingly rigorous third-party verification procedures," Dr. Hrubes noted. "SCS is fully prepared to meet this challenge, to ensure that companies are fully compliant with the state's requirements." SCS is an independent certifier of environmental, sustainability, and food quality and safety claims. Over two decades, SCS has developed internationally recognized certification programs aimed at spurring the highest level of environmental improvements, social accountability and product performance. Its programs span a wide cross-section of the economy, recognizing accomplishments in agricultural production, food processing and handling, forestry, fisheries, flowers and plants, energy, green building, consumer and business product manufacturing, and corporate social responsibility. In the green building arena, SCS is an accredited certifier under the Forest Stewardship Council program, and is known for its Indoor Advantage Gold certification of products conforming with requirements specified under California 01350, and by the Collaborative for High Performing Schools, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating systems, and the Business and Industrial Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA). Other programs include its Sustainable Choice program for carpets, and its recycled and material content certifications. For information about certification, visit http://www.scscertified.com/ecoproducts/CARB_ATCM.html or contact Robert Hrubes at rhrubes@scscertified.com

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