Formaldehyde Testing

Testing Services for Laminate & Engineered Wood Flooring, Furniture and Cabinetry

Berkeley Analytical offers formaldehyde testing services for manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers impacted by the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) for formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products. BkA’s CARB ATCM formaldehyde testing services include:

  • Production quality control testing of regulated composite woods by ASTM D6007
  • Compliance testing of regulated composite woods through a CARB Third Party Certifier (TPC)
  • Quality control testing of supplier furnished composite wood cores and finished goods by ASTM D6007
  • Diagnostic and deconstruction studies following the CARB SOP for Finished Good Test Specimen Preparation


The CARB ATCM regulation applies to composite woods widely used in laminate flooring, engineered wood flooring, commercial and residential furniture, cabinetry and other products. The regulation is not a finished goods requirement. Rather, it limits the emission rates of formaldehyde from composite wood cores. The Phase 2 emission requirements vary depending upon the type of composite wood. Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) is allowed the higher formaldehyde emission rates than Particleboard and Hard Wood Plywood (HWPW). Significantly, these requirements are “caps," meaning they are hard numbers that cannot be exceeded.

BkA’s uses ASTM D6007, the secondary method defined in the ATCM regulation, to measure formaldehyde emissions from composite wood. Our testing by this method is validated by our continued participation and consistent performance in CARB inter-laboratory studies involving over 30 international laboratories. We successfully completed an equivalency study for low and medium emitting sources versus the primary large-scale chamber method, ASTM E1333 and are now a certification testing laboratory for the SCS Global Services TPC program. Additionally, we routinely employ the CARB SOP for Finished Good Test Specimen Preparation for testing of laminate flooring cores and furniture components for formaldehyde emissions. Deconstruction studies have been performed for the furniture industry to investigate the effects of veneers, finishes, and adhesives on the formaldehyde emission of core materials.

Formaldehyde in Other Products

Formaldehyde is contained in and emitted into air by many different products. Despite changes in the manufacturing of composite wood and other products over the last 25 years, formaldehyde is still a primary indoor air quality (IAQ) concern. BkA has a long history with the testing of products for formaldehyde emission and content. We have the capability to conduct testing in accordance with many formaldehyde emission standards such as CDPH Standard Method V1.1, ANSI/BIFMA M7.1, ASTM D6007, and EN 717-1. We operate Field and Laboratory Emission Cells (FLEC) that allow the rapid determination of emissions from planar materials following ASTM D7143. We also operate Micro-scale chambers that can measure formaldehyde emissions from very small samples following ASTM D7706. For example, formaldehyde emissions from laminate flooring can be determined using small disks cut from installed flooring.

We use ASTM D5197 and ISO 16000-3 for the sampling and analysis of formaldehyde and other low molecular weight carbonyl compounds. These methods provide high precision and excellent sensitivity, about 1 µg/m3 in a typical chamber test.

The same DNPH chemistry used for the sampling and analysis of formaldehyde in chamber and indoor air is adaptable to other applications, such as the determination of total formaldehyde content in liquid products and the determination of leachable and extractable amounts of formaldehyde in solid products. As examples, we have applied the DNPH chemistry to the testing of cosmetic products and resin systems and to the evaluation of clean room gloves and garments.

Contact us to discuss your formaldehyde testing needs and to request a quotation.