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Has anyone ever considered Formaldehyde?

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Dee J

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Just did some non extraction sanding of Oak and that meter went mental 🥺 especially PM2.5 and PM10 ... The Formaldehyde increased only when the heat built up and burned!! Gasses?
Don't know who is confusing who here. Not understanding this post - are we talking about particles or gases? You sanded something and measured particulates generated - well yes sanding generates particles. Machine sanding without extract makes those particles airborne. So manual plane and manual sand your timber, or use proper extract for machine use or a decent air fed mask. But if your concern is formaldehyde while you're processing timber then that seems to be a different case. Avoid processed panels, and avoid processes which heat or burn timber unless you have appropriate ventilation or an air fed mask.
 

jackal

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Don't know who is confusing who here. Not understanding this post - are we talking about particles or gases? You sanded something and measured particulates generated - well yes sanding generates particles. Machine sanding without extract makes those particles airborne. So manual plane and manual sand your timber, or use proper extract for machine use or a decent air fed mask. But if your concern is formaldehyde while you're processing timber then that seems to be a different case. Avoid processed panels, and avoid processes which heat or burn timber unless you have appropriate ventilation or an air fed mask.
Not confused just got excited at the read out getting frenzied :)
 

thick_mike

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As was mentioned above, formaldehyde is a gas at room temperature and is used in many plastics and glues. I used to use it when I was formulating MF resins for the can coating industry. We used to do taste tests on beer packaged in cans with experimental coatings to see if there was any taint and I became pretty sensitive to it. About 7 years later I was working in another industry and we had some refurb work done in the offices. I walked in and I could instantly smell formaldehyde and I started sneezing. I think they boarded the offices out in MDF.

Anyway, that was just to say that I am sensitised to formaldehyde and I use sheet goods pretty frequently in my hobby woodworking. I have never had a reaction over the last 20 years, so I’d guess the legislation around the sheet goods has improved considerably.
 

petermillard

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Just did some non extraction sanding of Oak and that meter went mental 🥺 especially PM2.5 and PM10 ... The Formaldehyde increased only when the heat built up and burned!! Gasses?
Sorry, late to this thread. The PM readings are for dust (Particulate Matter) not formaldehyde. PM2.5 and PM10 (2.5 and 10 microns) are relatively large - the dust particles you need to worry about especially are those at <0.3 micron. Those handheld meters aren’t the most accurate either, but as long as they’re consistent you can use them for relative readings, rather than absolute ie ‘the reading is higher than it was yesterday, I need to put the air scrubber on / open a window.‘

As others have said in the thread, formaldehyde is a naturally occurring chemical present in all timbers. It’s also commonly used in many industrial processes, particularly as a binder in the production of manufactured boards eg plywood and MDF, chipboard etc...

If you want to scare yourself, put that meter inside your living room and get a reading, or by your car or van exhaust with the engine running.

My wife worked in the clothing industry on the technical side all her career, and formaldehyde is used extensively as a finishing agent; you’ll come into contact with more formaldehyde on a market-stall t-shirt than you ever will from working with wood.

HTH P
 

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