Is Particle Board Furniture Safe?

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You’ve just moved into your apartment. It’s too expensive, of course, and far too small, but it’s yours. As far as furniture goes, you’ve had to settle on some cheap and lovely pieces from your local Target. They’re not exactly mahogany, though — just flimsy particle board covered in shiny, badly-glued plastic — but they’ll hold your stuff. You’re not going to have them for long anyway, right?

As it turns out, those crappy bookcases and futon pieces might end up being more trouble than they’re worth in the long run. Much more trouble, in fact. Recent investigations into the safeness of particle board have revealed some stunning revelations about its alleged toxicity and how that might affect you and your family over time.

What is particle board?

Well, let’s start by saying particle board gets a bad rap from the get-go. Also known as chipboard, this wood product is manufactured by pressing wood chips or jute-stick chips with a synthetic resin or other suitable bonders. The resultant “wood” is pressed, extruded, and sold to make all sorts of building materials from furniture to flooring.

It’s a recycled material, which makes it a very good fit for those looking to lower their environmental impact and also still have places to put their stuff. Of course, you could just opt to buy secondhand furniture instead, which is a much better way to reuse existing resources without creating more cheap and ultimately disposable trash.

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