Health Canada calls on SCC for critical standard regarding volatile organic compounds

Health Canada, working with the National Research Council of Canada, has identified the need to protect Canadians’ health from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions. To address this issue, the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Health Canada for the delivery of a National Standard of Canada (NSC). The NSC would limit VOC emissions from composite wood products used in residential building materials.

What key benefits will the standard offer?

SCC has selected CSA Group to develop the voluntary health-based standard, which is expected to improve the indoor environment in Canadian homes. The standard will aim to limit the amount of VOCs emitted from products and permanent fixtures, such as kitchen cabinets, floorings, and joists.

VOCs exist as gas at room temperature. Side-effects include eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches and nausea, as well as lung irritation and organ and central nervous system damage.

As leader of Canada’s standardization network, SCC’s role is to ensure that standardization solutions are meeting Canada’s marketplace and safety needs. CSA Group will develop the critical standard, earmarked for publication in late March 2016. An SCC-accredited standards development organization, CSA Group is a global provider of testing and certification services.


January 26, 2015