Formaldehyde is a pretty common chemical. It is present in various products inside our homes. Our wallpapers, textiles, vinyl and even toothpaste contain formaldehyde. The plywood that makes up your ceilings, walls, and cabinets also contain formaldehyde, since plywood products are bonded using adhesives that contain the chemical.
A primary concern about formaldehyde is its reclassification by the World Health Organisation as a carcinogen. Should you be worried about formaldehyde in plywood then?
Read on and find out what you should know about formaldehyde in plywood.
What is formaldehyde?
Formaldehyde in plywood Formaldehyde is a naturally-occurring organic compound. A colorless and strong-smelling gas, formaldehyde is naturally emitted by all timber species, as well as by processes like decay and combustion. It has become a very important ingredient in the production of industrial resins, including the adhesive that is used to bond plywood products.
All plywood products require structural and moisture durability, and these are provided by the adhesive known as phenol-formaldehyde. This adhesive is more commonly referred to as A Bond, which you can easily spot between the layers of ply as a distinct black line.
Why you should not worry about formaldehyde in plywood With formaldehyde being classified as a chemical with cancer-causing properties, it is but natural for people to be concerned about formaldehyde in plywood. After all, formaldehyde emissions are to be expected in all plywood that has been bonded with a Phenol-Formaldehyde adhesive.
There is, however, very little actual cause for concern.
Sure, formaldehyde emissions from plywood tend to be at their highest immediately after the manufacturing process. Within a few weeks, however, these formaldehyde emissions subside significantly. The application of a phenolic coating further reduces emission levels. By the time plywood products bonded with Phenol Formaldehyde reach your plywood supplier, their formaldehyde emissions will have become close to negligible.
It is very important to keep in mind that while formaldehyde may be carcinogenic, it only rears its ugly cancer-causing head when at very high concentrations. As stated earlier, formaldehyde emissions from plywood products are deemed very low. In fact, these emissions are so low that plywood products are exempt from formaldehyde emission regulations in Europe and in the United States.