Non-added formaldehyde, zero-VOC solutions are here today in wood composite products, and the enabling technology is bio-based

By EcoSynthetix

When thinking about construction, it’s easy to envision large wood sheets or lumber in a raw state used by contractors in the construction of new homes. Less so, do we consider the myriad of interior home goods we use every day that are built from engineered wood products?

Reading any home décor magazine, articles are populated with happy people surrounded by their favorite home furnishings. From hosting a dinner party in a newly renovated kitchen, to playing with their pets on new wood floors, or putting their kids to bed in a new bedroom set, the images portray daily activities where we are in close interaction with the materials around us.

The chemical composition of these materials, in recent years especially, has come to the forefront of public consciousness as we have learned that many of the most common materials found in our homes can be emitting toxic levels of VOCs. These VOCs are causing what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calls Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). SBS is used to describe situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building. Chemical contaminants from indoor sources are one of the leading causes, and studies have shown adhesives, carpeting, upholstery, manufactured wood products, copy machines, pesticides and cleaning agents may emit contaminants, including formaldehyde, within the building.

As a result, paint products are now widely marketed in low- or zero-VOC offerings and command a significant market share and a large amount of advertising resources.