Sunday, April 5, 2009


1.2 Materials causing environmental concern are identified in relation to the task.

MDF releases an odor which can irritate the eyes and nose. These compounds include aldehydes, terpenes and methanol. MDF also contains Formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is classified as a human carcinogen and has been linked to nasal and lung cancer, with possible links to brain cancer and leukaemia. Short-term exposure to formaldehyde can be fatal. Long-term exposure to low levels of formaldehyde may cause respiratory difficulty, eczema, and sensitization.

MDF produces very fine dust during processing and the dust particles act as a carrier of absorbed formaldehyde to the lower airways of lungs. Wood dust and formaldehyde together have been reported to cause respiratory irritation with symptoms of dryness of throat, rhinitis and eye irritation as well as occupational skin disease. To avoid harm from the MDF keep the workshop well ventilated.

When MDF is burned it can release emissions that can be harmful to the environment. The best way to reduce emissions is to carefully control combustion temperature - keep it below 800°C - and avoid using fuel with chlorine in it.

Foam carpet underlay is highly flammable. It has a high fire growth rate and is also very sensitive to ignition. This could produce a problem if the speakers become overheated or the underlay is near to something hot in the workshop.


1.1 Environmental hazards are identified in relation to the task.

MDF is full of Formaldehyde which can be harmful to humans and the environment. It can cause headaches, watery eyes and eventually cancer. MDF also releases other toxins into the environment.

In some countries, such as Australia, wood from native forests is used to make the chips that go into MDF. This is a danger to the environment as native forests are becoming rarer and rarer. Luckily a lot of MDF manufacturers are beginning to use recycled materials, such as straw and bamboo, as sustainable alternatives to native wood.

Thursday, April 2, 2009