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    Indoor air quality problems resulting from the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have become an issue of increasing concern. Emissions from building and furnishing materials, which are frequently constructed from particleboard and medium density fiberboard (MDF), are a potentially important contributor of indoor VOCs. In this research, VOC emissions from particleboard and MDF were measured in small (53-L) stainless steel chambers for 4 days. Samples were collected from 53 of the 61 U.S. mills that produce particleboard and MDF. Each mill identified the predominant tree species used to manufacture the panels. Laboratory tests were conducted at room temperature and 45 percent relative humidity. Gas chromatographic/mass spectrometric analysis was used to identify and quantify VOC compounds. The predominant compounds identified in the emissions from particleboard and MDF samples were terpenes and aldehydes, although small straight-chain alcohols and ketones were also found. This study describes the aldehyde emission data, excluding formaldehyde. Emissions of small straight-chain aldehydes, such as hexanal, pentanal, heptanal, octanal, and nonanal, generally exceeded emissions of other compounds and accounted for more than 50 percent of total VOC emissions. All 53 particleboard and 16 of 18 MDF samples emitted hexanal, the most prevalent aldehyde found (excluding formaldehyde). The tests showed differences in VOC composition and emission factors by product and tree type. On average, aldehyde emissions from southern pine MDF samples considerably exceeded the aldehyde emissions from southern pine particleboard. Emissions from all other MDF samples, however, were lower than those from particleboard samples in the same species group. With the exception of formaldehyde, aldehydes are not added to the adhesives used to bond wood, and they have not previously been reported as extractable compounds in wood. Degradation of the wood or its secondary metabolites is probably responsible for the presence of the aldehydes.

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    Baumann, Melissa G. D.; Lorenz, Linda F.; Batterman, Stuart A.; Zhang, Guo-Zheng. 2000. Aldehyde emissions from particleboard and medium density fiberboard products. Forest products journal. Vol. 50, no. 9 (Sept. 2000).:p. 75-82 : ill.


    Particleboards, Fiberboards, Aldehydes, Emission

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