Many people ask about the formaldehyde emission risk in cabinets manufactured outside of the US. We field questions about this all the time – what if I bought them through an American company? What if they say they’re CARB compliant? What if they advertise that they meet the KCMA standard but their cabinets don’t bear the ESP seal?
It’s impossible for us to know what type of products non-certified companies are manufacturing, where they source their raw materials, and what their specific claims are. What we DO know is that cabinets bearing the ESP seal must be constructed with accredited third-party certified 100% low-formaldehyde CARB compliant composite wood products and be able to demonstrate chain-of-custody control.
Since 2012, all composite wood used by ESP certified companies must be low-emitting. Beginning in 2013, only low formaldehyde emitting adhesives will be used by U.S. cabinet manufacturers. Claims that U.S. cabinet manufacturers who veneer to create raised panel doors or special cabinetry add to formaldehyde emissions are specious and self-serving efforts to create trade barriers.
If you’re wondering about cabinets, look for the ESP seal to be sure.