Choosing Greener Particleboard and Fiberboard

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Cheaper than solid hardwood and plywood, particleboard (PB) and medium-density fiberboard (MDF) changed the post-World War II home building industry.

August 01, 2002

Cheaper than solid hardwood and plywood, particleboard (PB) and medium-density fiberboard (MDF) changed the post-World War II home building industry. In the 21st century, there are even more options. PB and MDF — traditionally made from wood residues (from solid wood and plywood processing) and bound with formaldehyde, a probable carcinogen — have evolved to include end products that are more resource-efficient and healthier.

The nonprofit group Green Seal, which identifies and promotes products and services that minimize toxic pollution and waste, compiled a list of its recommended alternative and recycled-material PB and MDF products. The full report, including performance standards and links, can be viewed at www.greenseal.org/cgrs/CGR_PB&MDF.pdf.

Recommended Particleboard and Fiberboard Products































































Manufacturer (Brand)

Product Description

Fiber Source

Renewable/Sustainably Harvested

Product Availability
Agricultural Waste Fiber, Formaldehyde-Free

Isobord(Isobord, StorageBord, ShelfBord and IsoUndelay)

Strawboard

Wheat straw

Annually renewable

Home Depot, Lowe's, Isobord's global sales office

PrimeBoard

Strawboard

Wheat straw

Annually renewable

Multiple distributors

Pacific Northwest Fiber
(PacificBoard)

Strawboard

Bluegrass straw

Annually renewable

Available for immediate
shipment

Acadia (DuraCane)

Particleboard

Bagasse (residue from sugar cane processing)

Annually renewable

Available directly from company

Hawaiian DuraGreen

Particleboard

Bagasse

Annually renewable

Panel Source International is the exclusive sales agent

Post-Consumer Waste Fiber, Formaldehyde-Free

Homasote

Fiberboard

100% post-consumer recycled newsprint

Post-consumer newsprint supply exceeds current demand

Most lumber and home center locations; network of dealers

Recovered Wood Fiber, Formaldehyde-Free

SierraPine (Medex, Medite II and Medite-FR)

Medium-density fiberboard

100% recovered and pre-consumer recycled wood fiber

N.A.

Multiple distributors

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