Can your furniture cause cancer?

Manufactured boards are boards made from wood products such as ply wood, chip board and Medium Desity Fibre[MDF] board.

They usually come in a standard size of 4 feet by 8 feet.

Due to the scarcity of wood products, MDF boards have become common and are a good replacement to plywood, chipboard and blockboard.

MD boards are made by glueing wood fibres under intense heat and pressure.

The strength of the board is measured by the screwing strength of the section in Newtons. The average screwing strength is around 750-1000N.

The glue used is fomaldehyde based .
Research shows that formaldehyde causes various side effects to humans.

This has resulted to the grading of MDF in terms of formaldehyde level, E0 being the lowest and E4 the highest. Most MDF boards on sale in Kenya and around the world contain EI and E2 formaldehyde levels .

MDF boards are sold with or without the laminate. The laminate can be on one side or both sides. The laminate is finished smooth to various natural wood finishes such as peach, oak, teak and mahogany.

The strength of the MDF is directly proportional to its thickness, density and internal glue bond.
Most MDF is manufactured in thickness of between 8 mm to 20mm. The mdf laminate skins are usually 2mm thick.

For furniture use which is not structural i.e does not support alot of weight such as wardrobe door, 12mm MDF both sides veneered is recommended. For Furniture that supports heavy weights such as tables, doors, 16 to 20mm MDF boards thicknesses are recommended. Once your architect has information of the design and preferred uses for the boards, he will be in a position to advise you accordingly.
The thickness is also important if the MDF board is going to be grooved. If a groove is to be engraved, MDF of 12 mm and above is recommended.

Frank Gichuhi
Nairobi, Kenya.

Francis Gichuhi (692 Posts)

Architect Francis Gichuhi . B.Arch. University of Nairobi. Registered Architect, Kenya. Member, Architectural Association of Kenya. Contacts. email Telephone +254721410684


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