Originally Posted by qguy
I read somewhere that unfinished MDF releases something that may be harmfull to someones health. In that case should the insides of ported enclosures be painted to seal the MDF ? I have small 8 inch subwoofer behind my monitor and during loud explosion in games I can smell the MDF. As a precaution, when the sun comes out I will spray paint the insides of the enclosure.
While MDF used to use and outgass some formaldehyde like many other new building materials like fiberglass, in the past 2-5 years many regulations have come into play, especially in California, which have caused most suppliers to move to what is now considered CARB 2 compliant products which have extremely low % formaldehyde content, or products which are entirely formaldehyde free. CARB = California Air Resources Board. Here is a FAQ from one supplier
. Rather than stocking and producing different products for different regions and worrying where it might end up, most areas sell material meeting the California regulations.
Fiberglass has switched to entirely formaldehyde free for a few years now, and has been available for a few years before that.
The next area of pressure will be the solvent based finishing products which are already getting harder to purchase in large quantities. Large cabinet shops shipping to many areas have largely shifted entirely to water based finishes. Certain finish types become much harder to execute or involve longer cure times with water based finishes, so it's not as simple as just changing what finishing materials they buy. It was quite the PITA when our cabinet shop made the switch for most of its uses as their primary customer base of retail stores required it. In the end we'll be leaving the nasty finishes to automated machines and specialty shops with paint rooms and proper masks and suits... and unfortunately to the cheap labor overseas.Edited by Mark Seaton - 8/24/13 at 8:47pm