How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
When did they stop using formaldehyde in mobile homes?
Saturday, March 14, 2020
Formaldehyde has never been banned from the manufacture of mobile homes. But the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which has jurisdiction over mobile home construction, began setting standards for the levels of formaldehyde used in their construction back in 1985. The current maximum level allowed in plywood is 0.2 ppm (parts per million), and for particleboard it’s 0.3 ppm. The EPA also recently set lower standards for all plywood and particleboard products that overrides the HUD standards.
Here’s part of the relevant section of the HUD Code (Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards 3280.308) about formaldehyde:
But we know of no HUD standard for the maximum allowed level of formaldehyde gas in the air in a new home. Because so many products, including cabinets and new furniture, combine with the construction materials to off-gas formaldehyde during the first few months after a home is constructed, it can sometimes be annoying and also cause headaches and throat irritiation. For more on this, see our blog post How can formaldehyde gas in a house be a problem?
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