“Urgent need for a clear line on formaldehyde limits”: Paolo Fantoni, chair of EPF

1 August 2019

“We urgently need to harmonise the compulsory parameters for formaldehyde in panels within the EU, both to regulate the importation of products from elsewhere, and to avoid creating hurdles within the community itself.”

The appeal comes from the AGM of the European Panel Federation (EPF), and particularly from its chairman, Paolo Fantoni, from Friuli, Italy, who was recently reappointed for his third term.

“Currently, seven of the 28 EU countries have a mandatory limit on formaldehyde emissions,” explains Mr Fantoni. “Among these, Germany is considering introducing more restrictive rules and test methods unilaterally, but this would limit free competition within the single market.

“As a result, it would not only put European producers in difficulty, leaving the doors wide open for completely unregulated products to be imported from outside Europe, but it would also create confusion among European consumers. We therefore ask the new EU bodies to urgently adopt a harmonised directive on this matter.

“Our proposal,” the chairman specifies, “is to unify the rules throughout the EU, introducing a compulsory E1 limit, for both the production and the importation of panels and furniture. At the same time, we would also like to see the introduction of a further voluntary standard, set at 50% of the emission levels of E1, to which individual businesses can choose to adhere.”

The Fantoni Group produces its own resins, impregnates the paper to face its panels, and thanks to its hydroelectric power stations and cogeneration systems, it also contributes significantly to its own power needs.