Style, size, color – there are a lot of things to consider when choosing composite wood cabinets for your kitchen. Of all these factors, there’s one that you should never overlook above anything else: how your cabinet choice affects your family and the environment’s health.
It may seem strange at first, but not when you think about the large part that formaldehyde plays in the woodworking process. Yes, formaldehyde – which you may know most commonly for its use as an embalming fluid.
Wood Composite Products and Formaldehyde
Formaldehyde is a highly toxic organic compound, but it’s invaluable in woodworking, where it’s used most commonly to make adhesive resins for composite wood products. In fact, of the approximately 1 million metric tons of urea-formaldehyde produced every year, 70% is used by wood-related industries.
If you have any wooden fixtures and furniture in your home, chances are they all have trace amounts of formaldehyde in them. Don’t panic, though. Formaldehyde is harmless in very small amounts. In fact, even the human body has trace amounts of formaldehyde in it.
It only becomes a big deal when products with individually high concentrations of formaldehyde are brought together leading to heightened (and sometimes dangerous) levels of exposure.
So, how do you make sure that the wooden cabinetry in your house won’t saturate your home with formaldehyde? That’s easy: by always checking if the composite wood cabinet you’ve got your eye set on is CARB2 compliant.
What is CARB2?
CARB2 is a certification process instituted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to reduce formaldehyde emissions and protect the public from airborne toxic contaminants. There’s a reason CARB has become known as the “clean air agency”.
The CARB2 compliance seal indicates that the product’s formaldehyde levels are well within the safety limits. It’s worth noting that CARB2 regulation applies to almost all composite wood products ranging from cabinets, countertops, and doors to furniture, molding, toys, and even photo frames.
The next time you buy any wood composite product, be sure to look for CARB2 certification. Every composite wood product sold in California is required to be CARB2 compliant. If you ever come across one that doesn’t specifically say so, make it a point to ask the dealer or manufacturer for more information.
You’ll be happy to know that all of our Maplevilles cabinets are indeed CARB2 certified and will not emit any volatile compounds that would pose a danger to you or your family.
For more information from the California Air Resources Board click here.