What You Need to Know about Cabinetry

Did you know it can take more than 9 months before the formaldehyde in new products such as conventional cabinetry (made from MDF) reaches the EPA designated “safe” levels for humans?!


Regarding cabinetry, you should accept nothing but formaldehyde-free products.

What is Formaldehyde you ask?
Think back to the days when news of Katrina was reported daily… Do you remember all of those folks who got really sick from living in FEMA Trailers? One word, readers: Formaldehyde. That’s all those little trailers were made out of: cheap cabinetry, wood panels, pressed fiberboard.

It’s a cancer-causing chemical found in your kitchen cabinets, shelving, countertops, ready-to-assemble furniture, and many other household items. It is an ingredient in the resin or glue most commonly used to bond plywood, particle board and medium-density fiberboard.

The Impact on your Health:
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has linked the chemical to throat cancer. Analysis by Air Resources Board predicts that formaldehyde exposure leads to an increase in cancer for those exposed as adults and during childhood. The board listed formaldehyde as a toxic air contaminant with no known safe exposure level in 1992.

Formaldehyde emissions are mostly unregulated in the United States, unlike Australia, Japan and some European countries. American manufacturers may abide by a voluntary standard set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

What California is Doing:
On Thursday, April 26th 2007, air regulators in the state of California approved the nation’s most sweeping restriction on emissions of formaldehyde. The rule will require manufacturers to reduce by more than half a toxic chemical in manufactured wood. Experts say it is inhaled most frequently by new home buyers, home remodelers and workers who handle the chemically laden wood.

This new standard would be phased in starting in 2009 and would become the most stringent in the world by the time it is fully implemented in 2012. Other countries have also begun to tighten rules for formaldehyde use.

The proposed regulation would cut by nearly 60% the amount of formaldehyde emissions that seep into the air from the resin or glue most commonly used to bond plywood, particle board and medium-density fiberboard. The California rule would apply to all products sold, used or manufactured for sale in the state. According to the Air Resources Board it would require manufacturers to obtain third-party certification, maintain records and label all wood showing it complied with California law and would prohibit chemically laden wood imported from Canada, China and other parts of Asia.

~ by akagreen on February 18, 2009.

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