Penny's Favs: Collins Pine FreeForm
Collins Pine FreeForm particleboard.I will, from time to time, highlight my favorite green building products, in no particular order, but I begin with one that’s near the top of my list –
Particleboard is ubiquitous - though often invisible - in buildings, hiding under floors, in furniture and behind veneers and paneling. Two environmental facts: particleboard is made from wood chips and sawdust reclaimed from the lumber industry – in other words, 100% post industrial content – that’s good.
However, the resins used as binders in particleboard contain urea formaldehyde, that nasty stuff that if found in high enough concentrations – above 0.3 parts per million – will make you sick. Formaldehyde emissions from most particleboard average 0.2 ppm. Combine that with other off-gassing interior wood products, adhesives, sealants and you’re looking at respiratory irritation.
FreeForm uses a melamine-based binder and is the only FSC-certified particleboard in North America that is produced with no added urea-formaldehyde. Other low emitting particleboard products use phenolic binders, which add a reddish color; the melamine binder in FreeForm is white so it’s lighter. Testing shows emissions from .09 to .13 ppm; Collins Pine hopes to bring those numbers down soon and eventually eliminate formaldehyde binders altogether.
FreeForm – a good choice for healthier forests and people.