The Impact of Formaldehyde in Casework
What is Formaldehyde and How Does It Relate to Casework Products?
As a business that produces products for customers, it is important to consider where the products are coming from and what they are made of. As a proud local company of northern New Jersey, our team here at Longo Labs always strives to use environmentally-friendly materials that can be used without posing risks to the environment around us or the health of the customers who do business with us. Since our team specializes in turning visions into realities for laboratory renovation projects, it is important to us that the products used are high quality. One of our most popular products is our wooden casework, used in labs and science classrooms all across the country. Today, we want to discuss our casework products and the impact that formaldehyde can have on casework.
What You Should Know About Formaldehyde
Many of us have heard the word “formaldehyde” used before, and while it is commonly known to be a harmful substance, most people don’t know exactly what it is. Formaldehyde is a strong smelling gas that is a compound of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Formaldehyde occurs naturally and is produced into the environment by both plants and animals. Unfortunately, that means that all wood species contain and emit small amounts of it – meaning that all wood products all contain it. The good news, however, is that small traces of formaldehyde are always present in our lives, from car engines to our own breath, and the common levels of the gas typically pose no health risks.
The Health Risks Posed by Formaldehyde
As we mentioned, small traces and everyday exposure to formaldehyde typically poses no threat, but high levels of this substance can result in a number of health risks, which include symptoms such as:
- Watery/irritated eyes
- Burning sensation in the eyes, nose, and throat
- Chest tightness
- Wheezing/asthmatic reactions
- Skin rashes/irritation
- Allergic reactions
While none of these symptoms are life-threatening, the symptoms can be more severe when facing a very high level of formaldehyde. This is particularly true for skin rashes, asthmatic reactions, or allergic reactions, and it is believed that it might even cause cancer among humans, per lab testing done on animals that resulted in causing cancer. To sum it up, this gas compound becomes a very dangerous substance at high levels.
Formaldehyde is used in Particleboard Products
If you read our last blog post about the different types of plywood, then you likely recall how we discussed that veneer core plywood is a stronger and higher quality material than particleboard. A specific type of formaldehyde, known as urea-formaldehyde, is commonly used in the woodworking industry as an adhesive or binding agent for particleboard and fiberboard materials. Formaldehyde is a very commonly used chemical in consumer products, from shampoos to vaccines to upholstery on furniture. It is always a good idea to pay attention to the materials and ingredients used in the products that you buy to avoid harmful chemicals and other non-environmentally friendly ingredients. In terms of wood products and casework, you need to make sure that the materials being used for your products are non-urea-formaldehyde.
Is Wooden Casework Safe to Use?
The short answer is yes. If you read our earlier blog post about wooden casework vs. steel casework, then you’ll recall that there are a multitude of benefits of using wooden casework. In fact, using wood products is actually a form of renewable energy and can be very environmentally friendly, as long as they do not contain urea-formaldehyde. You will see these materials labeled as NAUF, which stands for no-added-urea-formaldehyde. While these products are more expensive and don’t eliminate the chemical entirely, they are much safer and more environmentally friendly. All of our products here at Longo Labs are made from veneer core and composite core plywood that are manufactured to appropriate standards regarding formaldehyde.
Contact Longo for Quality Casework Products
When choosing casework, not only should you find products that look aesthetically pleasing, but you should also find high quality products that use environmentally friendly NAUF materials. For your next lab or science classroom renovation project, choose Longo Labs. From choosing the best casework products to planning the design to implementation, our team will be transparent with you and help you to make the best decisions for your lab renovation. Get in touch with us or schedule a consultation with our team of renovation project experts. Our goal is to help businesses like yours turn your vision into a reality by planning, designing, and installing your lab renovation project.