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MDF and formaldehyde

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Newbie_Neil

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Courtesy of Keith/Woodsmith

KeithS":1k6uv7fg said:
MDF has had some bad press of late with regard to the formaldehyde that it releases. I understand the Germans now have 0 emission MDF which uses lignin as the adhesive, does anyone know how far we are in the UK regarding lignin based MDF? My supplier looked blank when I asked.

Could have repercussions fitting MDF, if it is found to be dangerous, would be disasterous if I have to go and remove it.

Woodsmith

Apparently Medite and Caber make both "LF" Low Formaldehyde and "ZF" Zero Formaldehyde boards. You just need to shop around until you find a stockist. Expect to pay about 50% more for ZF grade based on loose boards and small orders.


I claim no credit for this post, apart from the fact that I can cut and paste. :roll:

Cheers
Neil
 

Aragorn

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This is weird Neil
I "discovered" ZF MDF a little while ago and enquired about it at my local supplier (Travis Perkins). They told me all MDF was ZF these days, and couldn't specifically supply me with anything other than what was on the racks. There was nothin else for them to order in!
Were they just lying/ignorant?

I only ask because a few years ago I had to stop using MDF coz it made me ill for a day. When I used it again a while back, because I had too :)roll:) i was fine. Since then I don't get ill anymore.

Hmm. What's going on?

A
 

Steve

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I'm sure I read some time last year that the formaldehyde/MDF thing was over since the manufacturers have switched to new adhesives or something, and that there is a kind of unfounded 'scare' campaign going on. I can't remember where though - but I've certainly been under the impression that the new stuff is safer than the old stuff.
(Mind you - this is precisely the sort of thing I get a-upwards)!

The real problem is that MDF still seems to give rise to poor television shows...

Steve
 

Steve

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This may be of interest to one 'n all (from Contract's Journal. Yes - I'm tryng to find the article referred to above...):

Ucatt 'scaremongering' over campaign on MDF

Sir,

You report (CJ 18 June) that the Ucatt union may be planning to target DIY stores with a leaflet campaign "to inform the public about the dangers of what is one of the country's most widely used DIY and furniture materials".

We have offered, on behalf of the Medium Density Fibreboard industry, to co-operate with Ucatt in any sensible activity that would supplement our own health and safety guidelines, of which the DIY store companies are well aware, on the control of and protection against wood dust within the COSHH regulations. However we deplore the wholly irresponsible repetition of un- founded allegations against this product, which is entirely safe when used with common-sense precautions against regular inhalation of dust.

It is quite wrong to suggest that the typical DIY user of MDF has anything to fear from cutting the material, and anyone who suggests otherwise is blatantly scaremongering with nothing but emotive falsehoods to lean on.

In respect of DIY users, the Medical Research Council has already expressed the preliminary opinion that they "do not consider occasional DIY activities involving MDF to pose a particular risk" (Hansard 17 November 1997). We understand that trade unions feel the need to create something of a stir at their conferences, but they should look for more substantiated issues than this.

Intensive users on building sites, in craft workshops, schools and so on who are active in cutting wood or wood-based material in any of its wonderful forms, including MDF, should ensure control of their dust-generating operations. They are welcome to ask us for a copy of our practical leaflet Working safety with wood and wood-based materials.

David G Duke-Evans

Director general

Wood Panel Industries

Federation

22 Jul 1998
 

Steve

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FOUND IT!
Basically, the facts of the matter are that:
MDF is no more dangerous that any other wood dust
The levels of formaldehyde released are negligable and well below WHO guidelines
There has not yet been an incidence of cancer related to MDF dust (it's been in use since the 60's)
The Health & Safety Executive wrote a Hazard Assessment Document together with WATCH (Working Group on Toxic Chemicals) and gave MDF a clean sheet and stated that it does not require any precautions other than those we should all take for ALL forms of wood dust. They noted it is likely to form more fine dust that solid timber due to its composition, but that this dust posed a risk "no more significant that other fine wood dust".

The full thing can be seen at
http://www.wpif.org.uk/publications/PressRelease-MDF.pdf

It looks to me like yet another load of nannying from people who get paid for nannying.

Steve
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Aragorn

Aragorn":3u0udog6 said:
This is weird Neil. I "discovered" ZF MDF a little while ago and enquired about it at my local supplier (Travis Perkins). They told me all MDF was ZF these days, and couldn't specifically supply me with anything other than what was on the racks. There was nothin else for them to order in! Were they just lying/ignorant?

I only ask because a few years ago I had to stop using MDF coz it made me ill for a day. When I used it again a while back, because I had too :)roll:) i was fine. Since then I don't get ill anymore. Hmm. What's going on?
From the postings I have seen on other sites not all mdf is ZF. Indeed some ZF apparently, which is imported from dubious sources, is not completely ZF.

If TP are telling you that it is ZF, then I would have thought that it was ZF. They are a national company and it is probably only genuine ZF that head office allows them to order. Your own experience tends to bear that out.

Cheers
Neil
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Keith

Thank you for posting the link, it is much appreciated. That is some read and you're right it is more than you need to know.

By the way, you've just bumped up the TP shares 8 points all by yourself. :lol:

Thanks again.

Cheers
Neil
 
G

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I wonder if the subscribers running scared of MDF are the same people who believe Princess Diana was assassinated or that the triple jab give children autism.Some folk just can't resist a conspiracy theory, don't read all the facts, just jump on the bandwagon.
 

Adam

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As Keith eays in the Screwfix thread, its a shame the government won't stop in and ban the imported stuff - leaving only the low/Zero-F grade stuff.

Adam
 
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