‘E1 is a European formaldehyde emission standard that grants the limit of formaldehyde emission to be equal to or less than 0.07 ppm.’ Sounds bookish? Too dull?
But, note this. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has announced that formaldehyde is a carcinogen (a substance that is capable of causing cancer in living tissues). Formaldehyde – an important part of the adhesive used to craft your plywood furniture. Shocked?
Effects of E1 on Health:
Cancer causing properties of formaldehyde are only evident at a very high concentration that is much greater than the levels emitted from plywood and veneer lumber furniture or other associated wood products. Still, the emission standard should be a matter of concern when it relates to the health of the workers and consumers in the furniture industry.
You may ask, ‘why should someone use formaldehyde to formulate wood adhesive?’ or ‘ what are the wood products which are made using such adhesive?’ Let me answer them one by one.
Formaldehyde, the simplest but a highly reactive organic compound is used for the formulation of wood-based panel adhesives with some hygienic purposes. It is also important for its chemical and technical applications.
Actually, the wood particles are bound together by glue which is commonly a formaldehyde based resin. Such an adhesive is mostly used on the wood materials in which wood is largely used in the form of strips, veneers, chips, strands or fibres.
The list includes:
• Plywood used for panelling, furniture, and other products
• Particleboard used for shelving, countertops, floor underlay, some laminated flooring, furniture etc.
• Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) used for cabinets, furniture, doors and some laminated flooring.
Now, hopefully, you can realize that almost every wooden furniture that you have is crafted using formaldehyde-based adhesive. So, some of the countries have set some emission standards to maintain the regulations for indoor air quality.
The European countries have adopted the E1 regulation that permits formaldehyde emissions to a maximum level of 0.07 ppm. It is equivalent to the emission standard which is set forth by the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).
It makes sense to buy furniture built of material which is E1 certified and compatible. Choose E1 and don’t be the cheap one – your health matters!