With all the emphasis on energy and water, we sometimes forget that there is another aspect to sustainability that is not as often mentioned, indoor air quality. So it was with great interest that we read that California regulators have adopted new standards to reduce the amount of formaldehyde in wood products.
As previously covered in Inhabitat’s Green Building 101 guide (see Indoor Environmental Quality and Materials and Resources II), formaldehyde is generally used in the binding of wood products such as wood veneer, plywood and engineered wood products, and is probably most directly familiar as part of chemicals that provide that new-car smell. It is also a well-known carcinogen and is highly toxic, having been linked to respiratory ailments and throat cancer.
So what does it actually mean? Well the standards mean that by 2008 all the composite wood products would have to limit their formaldehyde emissions to around what the current European standards propose. By 2010, that level should drop to that of what Japan currently has, and by 2012, the level of formaldehyde on any products sold in California should be the lowest in the world.
As is well known, California is the 5th largest economy in the planet, so having them take initiative and become proactive in the reduction of formaldehyde in the internal environments of our buildings.
+California backs lowering formaldehyde in wood
+California Air Resources Board (ARB) press release
+OSHA fact sheet on formaldehyde
+Europe’s E2 formaldehyde standards
+Japan’s F series formaldehyde standards
15 Comments >
FDA finds majority of herbal supplements at GNC, Walmart, Walgreens, and Target don't contain what they claim - instead cheap fillers like wheat and soy powder
- 5 Comments >
- 48 Comments >
- 27 Comments >
187 Comments >
19-Year-Old Develops Ocean Cleanup Array That Could Remove 7,250,000 Tons Of Plastic From the World's Oceans
- 123 Comments >
- 40 Comments >
15 Comments >
- 2002 Comments >
411 Comments >
BACK TO SCHOOL GIVEAWAY: Enter to Win a HP Pavilion dv6 Laptop and Green Prize Package (Worth $1155!)
- 392 Comments >
- 366 Comments >
- 351 Comments >
284 Comments >
LAST CHANCE: Enter to Win a Voltaic Laptop-Charging Solar Backpack Filled With Green School Supplies (Worth $500)!
281 Comments >
GIVEAWAY: Enter to Win a Sloan AQUS Grey Water Toilet System That Recycles Your Sink Water (Worth $189)!
- 247 Comments >
240 Comments >
LAST CHANCE: Enter Inhabitat's Back To School Contest to Win $250+ of Green Goodies Including a Voltaic Solar Backpack (Worth $129)
- 231 Comments >
- 229 Comments >
- 221 Comments >
Avocados are one of the wonderful fruits of summer. High in nutrition and flavor, nothing signals the start of summer like a zesty lime guacamole dip with tortilla chips. The next time you’re making guacamole or slicing an avocado for a salad, try savingREAD MORE >
You've all heard the tired mantras about changing your lightbulbs and recycling at home in order to save the planet - are you yawning yet? Many consumers think that going green is a gesture of self-sacrifice that often comes at great expense and inconvenienceREAD MORE >
It's amazing to think that just a few years ago, many people thought of LEDs as nothing more than the tiny red lights in our laser pointers but my, how the times have changed! With more and more people realizing the energy-efficiency benefits of LED lighting,READ MORE >
WINDOWHOP It's easy to get depressed when your work schedule has you getting less sun than Edward Cullen (you've got the sickly pallor to match and it's not nearly as sexy on you). If you're lucky enough to at least have a window in your workspace, openREAD MORE >
Cutting back on your energy usage is one of the best ways to bring down your electricity bill. But did you know that making simple changes to not just your wattage consumption but the way your home retains and expels air can dramatically transform the wayREAD MORE >
Did you know that there are wolves living near you in almost every state in the country? Sadly most of these wolves are not living in the wild, but in wolf sanctuaries, which are conservation organizations set up to protect them and help grow their populationREAD MORE >
Namba Parks was conceived when Osaka Stadium closed down, presenting a great redevelopment opportunity for a new commercial district right next to the Namba Train Station, which is just one stop away from Kansai Airport. Since it's one of the first placesREAD MORE >
Top image: A child is put to work at a militia-run mine in Watsa. © Marcus Bleasdale/National Geographic Captured during a 2004 visit to the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, Bleasdale's images "tell the story of the country's mineral resourceREAD MORE >
BANANAS You might have heard that bananas are favored by athletes because they contain potassium and it's that same reason that makes them great hangover cures. When you're hungover, your body has lost a lot of potassium that needs to be replenished, so eatingREAD MORE >
Images © Graham King “The shopping cart tree symbolizes both generosity and abundance, as well as acknowledging those less fortunate where their whole world may be housed in a cart. We see shopping carts every day and take them for granted. IndividuallyREAD MORE >
TIP 1: Wrap Your Home in Insulation - "The More, The Better!" Proper insulation is probably the most important factor you can control in creating an energy-efficient home. I always say insulation is like chocolate, the more you have, the better! On average,READ MORE >
While conjuring up comfort in the home seems like a basic principle, it’s a far more complex process for architect & remodeling guru Sarah Susanka, who believes that comfort can significantly influence the sustainability of your personal abode. WithREAD MORE >