The bad news
Our homes are filled with plywood, from cabinets to desks and doors. The commonly used plywood adhesive, urea-formaldehyde, has been linked to cancer and other health problems. Even though soy-based adhesives have been available since the early 1900s, the building industry has favored formaldehyde-based wood adhesives because they’ve been cheaper and more effective.
The good news
A new line of formaldehyde-free hardwood plywood panels, PureBond (which uses a patented soy-based adhesive), performs better than its urea-formaldehyde counterpart and is just as cost effective. Columbia Forest Products is distributing formaldehyde-free, decorative-hardwood plywood from three of its six manufacturing facilities and plans to convert all six this year. Future uses for PureBond include particleboard and medium-density fiberboard.
To order formaldehyde-free plywood that’s also certified as sustainably harvested by the Forest Stewardship Council, contact Columbia Forest Products.