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Germany: DIN EN 16516 was adopted as formaldehyde testing on wood-based materials

MAY 2019 - Relevant for: Electrical & Electronics, Hardlines, Softlines, Toys and children's products

German Chemical Prohibition Act (ChemVerbostV1) included DIN EN 16516 as a new testing method of formaldehyde emission for wood-based materials. This amendment will apply from 1 January 2020.

Formaldehyde in coated or uncoated wood-based materials e.g. chipboard, blockboard, veneer boards, and fibreboard are regulated under ChemVerbostV. The concentration of formaldehyde in wood-based materials should not exceed 0.1 ml/m3 tested using a chamber.

This update2 was published in the German Federal Register on 26 November 2018. On top of the new test method, the previous reference method according to DIN EN 717-1 is still accepted. However, the concentration of formaldehyde must be multiplied by a factor of 2 after 1 January 2020. Derived methods e.g. EN ISO 12460-3 would be suitable for production control only.

The following testing methods are valid until 31 December 2019:

  • Bundesgesundheitsblatt 34, 10 (1991), pages 488-499 as a test method for wood-based materials and products manufactured from wood-based materials
  • DIN EN 717-1 ‘Wood-based panels – Determination of formaldehyde release – Part 1: Formaldehyde emission by the chamber method’
  • EN ISO 12460-3 ‘Wood-based panels – Determination of formaldehyde release – Part 3: Gas analysis method’
  • EN ISO 12460-5 ‘Wood-based panels – Determination of formaldehyde release – Part 5: Extraction method (called the perforator method)’

[1] German Chemical Prohibition Act (ChemVerbostV)

[2] Amendment of German Chemical Prohibition Act


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