China China revises national standard that sets limits on hazardous substances in wallpapers

The revised standard lowers existing limits, and introduces a limit on TVOC

China revises national standard that sets limits on hazardous substances in wallpapers

On Nov. 27, 2023, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation published a mandatory national standard (GB), “Indoor Decorating and Refurbishing Materials—Limit of Harmful Substances of Wallpapers” (GB 18585-2023). This is a revision of the 2001 version. It will come into effect Dec. 1, 2024.

The revised standard lowers the limit on barium content in wallpapers from 1,000 mg/kg to 500 mg/kg, and vinyl chloride monomer content from 1.0 mg/kg to 0.2 mg/kg; introduces limits on phthalate content, total volatile organic compound (TVOC) emissions and short-chain chlorinated paraffin content; and replaces the current limit on formaldehyde content with a limit on formaldehyde emissions.


Scope of the standard

The revised standard sets limits on the concentrations/emissions of substances in wallpapers that are hazardous to human health and the environment, sets out measurement rules for these substances, and describes how to perform the measurement. It applies to wallpapers made of different base materials.


Limits on hazardous substances

The table below shows the revised limits on the concentrations/emissions of hazardous substances in wallpapers. Red font indicates changes from the current version.

Regulated item Limit
Concentrations of heavy metals and other elements (mg/kg) Barium (Ba) ≤ 500
Cadmium (Cd) ≤ 25
Chromium (Cr) ≤ 60
Lead (Pb) ≤ 90
Arsenic (As) ≤ 8
Mercury (Hg) ≤ 20
Selenium (Se) ≤ 165
Antimony (Sb) ≤ 20
Concentration of vinyl chloride monomer (mg/kg) ≤ 0.2
Concentration of phthalates (mg/kg) DBP, BBP and DEHP combined ≤ 1,000
DINP, DIDP and DNOP combined ≤ 1,000
Emissions of formaldehyde (mg/m3) ≤ 0.02
Emissions of TVOC (mg/m3) ≤ 0.60
Concentration of short-chain chlorinated paraffins (C10–C13) (%) ≤ 0.15


The revised standard includes changes to measurement methods and rules for heavy metal content, and removes packaging labeling rules (Section 8 of the current standard).



The revised national standard (in Chinese) is available at

Author / Responsibility

LIU Yake

Researcher, Research & Consulting Dept. EnviX Ltd.

Business Performance

worked as a research assistant at Department of Environmental Planning and Management, School of Environment, Tsinghua University for 4 years, and then joint in Envix in April, 2022, currently is mainly responsible for consulting on EHS regulation compliance in East Asia.


MA, Environmental Econimics, Hiroshima University