As of July 1 RV manufacturers who are selling into California should be purchasing hardwood plywood and composite core (HWPW-CC) that meets the .08 parts per million standard set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
They can, however, use HWPW-CC materials that don’t meet CARB standards providing RVs sold after Jan. 1, 2011, have CARB-certified HWPW-CC materials.
”This is the sell-through period,” said Bruce Hopkins, vice president of standards and education for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). ”Manufacturers should be bringing in wood that is certified as soon as possible and selling the units that aren’t certified by Jan. 1, 2011.”
After that, all HWPW-CC material used to build RVs will need to be certified by an independent agency as meeting CARB requirements.
Although there are no federal standards for formaldehyde levels in RVs, RVIA last year adopted CARB formaldehyde standards as a membership requirement.
RVIA adopted CARB standards following a controversy involving travel trailers used in 2005 to house victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes. A number of lawsuits are pending in federal court in Louisiana against RV builders by people who complained about health problems after extended stays in the trailers.
RVIA is treating California’s strict new law as a national standard because the state is the nation’s largest consumer of RVs. Trailers sold in all 50 states need to comply with the standards.
When fully implemented, manufacturers will be required to affix a label on their units certifying that they comply with CARB standards and that all contents, such as furniture and cabinets, also are compliant.
Manufacturers also are required to keep documentation on all wood products they buy and sell for at least two years in the event that CARB subsequently discovers any violation during its testing process, which begins at the retail level on dealers’ lots.