Wood Furniture Manufacturing

Picture of man with a wood chair

The Clean Air Act as amended in 1990 (CAA) directs the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate emissions of 188 toxic chemicals (hazardous air pollutants or HAPs) from a wide range of industrial sources by establishing National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP).  The NESHAP is a national standard that applies to facilities that are engaged in, either in part or in whole, the manufacture of wood furniture or wood furniture components.   Examples of wood furniture components include, but are not limited to, drawer sides, cabinet doors, and laminated tops.


Wood is coated to protect it from physical and chemical damage, and natural degradation, as well as to impart an aesthetically pleasing finish.  Surface coating of wood furniture was listed as a source category to be regulated under the CAA because the materials traditionally used by the furniture industry contain a substantial quantity of solvents that volatilize to the air within the plant and/or are directly vented to the outside, usually without treatment.  Many of the coatings, adhesives, and solvents used in the wood furniture industry contain toxic chemicals such as toluene, xylene, methanol, methyl ethyl ketone, glycol ethers, and formaldehyde.


The U.S. EPA has targeted wood furniture manufacturers because they are the largest industrial users of solvents in paints and coatings among original equipment manufacturers in the United States, using over twice as much solvents as automobile manufacturers.  Exposure to these and other air toxics associated with wood furniture manufacturing can cause adverse health effects, including eye, nose, throat, and skin irritation; damage to the heart, liver and kidneys; and reproductive effects.


Requirements for the wood furniture manufacturing industry are monitored and enforced by each District Office of the Air Quality Division, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.


Technical Assistance Resources


Air Quality Compliance for Wood Manufacturing Operations - On December 7, 1995, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency promulgated the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Wood Furniture Manufacturing Operations. This easy-to-read fact sheet explains who is subject to the requirements, what the requirements are, and when compliance must be achieved for wood furniture manufacturing sources.


Hazardous Air Pollutants - A listing of all 188 compounds designated as hazardous air pollutants.


Wood Furniture Manufacturing Operations NESHAP: Questions and Answers - This document contains answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Wood Furniture Manufacturing Operations. (October 1996)


Notification Report Form


Initial Notification Letter - A cover letter that the Air Quality Division sent out to facilities believed to be subject to the NESHAP for Wood Furniture Manufacturing Operations. (July 2, 1995)


Initial Notification Report - Use this form to comply with the notification requirement of the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Wood Furniture Manufacturing Operations. (June 1996)


For More Information or Additional Assistance, contact the
Environmental Assistance Program  at 800-662-9278

Do you have an outreach idea or suggestion for our Program?  Please feel free to submit your requests to: David Fiedler.