Over the last eight years, The Fraternal Order of Woodworkers and Job Steward Alliance have been conscientiously assisting, in accordance with Industrial Hygienists, educating our membership of the harmful products made with formaldehyde. MDF is used on a daily basis on our jobsites around New York City and is affecting all trades without any consideration for safety. The biggest concern is exposure to formaldehyde gas that is emitted from the product. The glue used in MDF is usually urea formaldehyde (UF), a solid chemical made from a mixture of urea and formaldehyde. Prolonged exposure to formaldehyde can result in cancer, including nasal and sinus cancer and leukemia. Repeated exposure to formaldehyde may cause bronchitis or a skin- and asthma-like allergy.
Some people are very sensitive to formaldehyde, whereas others have no reaction to the same
level of exposure. There is limited evidence that formaldehyde may damage the developing
fetus and affect female fertility. With more and more women participating in our union, this is something to inform them on.
Please visit the MDF Fact Sheet link and share it with other Carpenters. This important information will give you the facts and help to protect you on the job. You can check beck here for updates or attend your monthly FOW meetings. This is an up-dated Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF): Workplace Health for Carpenters information sheet recently completed by Industrial Hygienists from Mount Sinai's Selikoff Centers for Occupational Health.
We are grateful to Alice Freund and the entire staff from Mount Sinai's Selikoff Centers for Occupational Health. Mrs. Freund has been working with the FOW for many years and we appreciate all her efforts.