If MDF makes me sick - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 17 Old 07-24-2015, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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If MDF makes me sick

Will hardboard also make me sick?

I do decently with particle board, and fine with plywood - but MDF makes me miserable. I wake up with a headache, etc.

And I don't mean working with it, I can smell it just from it being in my room. IIRC, MDF takes quite a while to finish 'gassing?'
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post #2 of 17 Old 07-24-2015, 06:25 PM
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Not necessarily.

Bob making sawdust in SW Louisiana
with a EX-21
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post #3 of 17 Old 07-24-2015, 07:12 PM
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Mdf dust can have some adverse affects, particularly if you're already sensitive to the binder chemicals. Even if you're not afflicted with a formaldehyde sensitivity, the dust will still wreck your lungs, so wear a respirator, not just a paper mask.

As far as off-gassing goes, never had mdf do that myself. I'd say you got a strange batch

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post #4 of 17 Old 07-24-2015, 07:22 PM
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It's the chemicals in the glue---I hate working with it--

Do pay attention to your reactions to certain woods---I am sensitive to real Mahogany and walnut

A friend worked with exotics and developed a rash when ever he worked with bocote--

Just pay attention---skin rashes and breathing difficulties can happen--but are rare and typically limited to a few woods---
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post #5 of 17 Old 07-24-2015, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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I think it's the specific kind: urea formaldehyde? Looks like some hardboard has it, but not all? Mine came from lowes...

Lowes hardboard is made by "triton."

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post #6 of 17 Old 07-25-2015, 09:58 AM
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You can get formaldehyde free mdf. We have to use it when doing anything for museum exhibits. It's still dusty as hell, but I notice less of an irritation when using it.
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post #7 of 17 Old 07-25-2015, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeswoods View Post
It's the chemicals in the glue---I hate working with it--

Do pay attention to your reactions to certain woods---I am sensitive to real Mahogany and walnut

A friend worked with exotics and developed a rash when ever he worked with bocote--

Just pay attention---skin rashes and breathing difficulties can happen--but are rare and typically limited to a few woods---

Walnut also bothers me a lot. makes me itchy and I try to always wear a mask when working with it. I've got just a few scraps of it left and probably won't buy it again--having made some things from bubinga (hate the price of it, though!), I have lost my interest in walnut anyway.
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post #8 of 17 Old 07-25-2015, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danno View Post
You can get formaldehyde free mdf. We have to use it when doing anything for museum exhibits. It's still dusty as hell, but I notice less of an irritation when using it.
Where do I find that?
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post #9 of 17 Old 07-25-2015, 01:47 PM
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When working with any fine dust particles, why take the chance of having future breathing problems. As suggested, always wear proper respiratory equipment - more than the paper mask! Be safe.
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post #10 of 17 Old 07-25-2015, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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When working with any fine dust particles, why take the chance of having future breathing problems. As suggested, always wear proper respiratory equipment - more than the paper mask! Be safe.
No, I'm talking about the finished product making me sick; not the constructing.

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post #11 of 17 Old 07-25-2015, 06:19 PM
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as noted in other threads, I now have a jet Air Filtration System which seriously reduces airborne particulates.
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post #12 of 17 Old 07-25-2015, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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as noted in other threads, I now have a jet Air Filtration System which seriously reduces airborne particulates.

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post #13 of 17 Old 07-25-2015, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icor1031 View Post
Will hardboard also make me sick?

I do decently with particle board, and fine with plywood - but MDF makes me miserable. I wake up with a headache, etc.

And I don't mean working with it, I can smell it just from it being in my room. IIRC, MDF takes quite a while to finish 'gassing?'
MDF has an odor and you don't like it, it's about that simple. Here is what you need to know about the possible health effects.
http://elcosh.org/document/2098/d001...ml?show_text=1
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post #14 of 17 Old 07-26-2015, 12:54 AM
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I'm not sure where you are, but any lumber supplier should be able to get it. Just do a google search.
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post #15 of 17 Old 07-26-2015, 05:49 AM
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post #16 of 17 Old 07-26-2015, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icor1031 View Post
No, I'm talking about the finished product making me sick; not the constructing.
Our imports are regulated---and levels of formaldehyde is one of those--

However, there are few inspectors and lots of shipments---so some dangerous products end up in our homes---

Lumber Liquidators is in big trouble for flooding the market with products that are making people sick----

My guess? Your furniture has elevated levels of some nasty chemical--
If you can return it--do so---otherwise,move it to the garage --
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post #17 of 17 Old 07-26-2015, 07:47 AM
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MDF and particle board is just bad stuff. I always wear a chemical respirator when cutting it. I don't necessarily wear a mask cutting hardboard though.
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