Choosing Greener Particleboard and Fiberboard

Cheaper than solid hardwood and plywood, particleboard (PB) and medium-density fiberboard (MDF) changed the post-World War II home building industry.
July 31, 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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