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Skirting World Warehouse, Birmingham

Is MDF Safe? Your Questions Answered

Posted by Skirting World on 5th Jun 2020

Is MDF Safe?

We'd answer with a resounding yes. But why? We're going to go through the most commonly asked questions regarding the safety of MDF.

What Is MDF?

We've got a whole post about this right here.

In short: MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) is a widely used construction material. It is made in sheets using wood fibres and resin to bond it together.

We manufacture all of our products using the best MDF we can source.

Why Do Some Say That MDF Is Unsafe?

The reason that some people feel MDF is not a safe material is due to formaldehyde. First, let's address this:

What Is Formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde is a chemical (simple but essential) that naturally occurs in many forms of life. This includes some of the foods we eat, trees and even ourselves - people!

Every product that is made using wood emits some level of naturally occurring formaldehyde - it's not just MDF!

You may be surprised to learn how widely used the chemical is within manufacturing! It can be found in products such as glues, resins, carpets, plastics, shampoos and even clothing.

So whether you're at home or at work, it stands a chance that some of the materials that have been used in commonly found products may be releasing formaldehyde.

Indoors and outdoors, it is normally present at very low levels (normally less than 0.03 parts per million). You can expect to find lower levels in rural areas where as urban areas will more than likely see higher concentrations.

How Much Formaldehyde Does MDF Emit?

All MDF manufactured within Europe has strict standards that it is required to meet.

We use MDF boards with an E1 classification (the best available in Europe). This means that our MDF emits less than 0.1 parts per million).

Generally speaking, we do the majority of the work where dust can be released into the air. However, we have an advanced dust extraction system in place for all machinery to reduce the risks posed.

When you buy from us, you shouldn't need to sand the products so you won't be subject to the fine dust.

When fitting MDF skirting boards and architraves, you will need to cut / mitre them to fit. However, using the correct safety equipment is recommended anyway and using a dust mask can increase safety further.

Should Formaldehyde Stop Me Buying MDF?

Absolutely not. As discussed above, many products made using wood may emit a very small amount of formaldehyde.

MDF skirting boards aren't any different from this and strict EU guidelines ensure we use the safest materials possible.

I've Heard That MDF Is Banned In Some Countries. Is This True?

No. At present, we (or HSE for that matter) are not aware of anywhere in the world that has banned the use of MDF in the construction and manufacturing industries.

Final Thoughts

We're confident in saying that MDF is safe to use within your home. Especially when you consider how may household products and furniture that may be emitting formaldehyde (we must stress that this is at safe levels).

Should you have any more questions, feel free to get in touch with us and we'll try our best to answer them for you!