E1 accreditation: what it means for Sonae Arauco
In the world of wood-based panels such as particleboard (PB) and medium-density fibreboard (MDF), being E1 accredited is absolutely crucial. However, while it may be a key part of how companies like Sonae Arauco make our boards, many people do not actually know what E1 accreditation means, nor do they understand why it is so important that any wood-based panels or boards you buy for your home or business need to have either E1 or E2 accreditation. In this article we‘re looking at why E1 accreditation is so important and how it is achieved.
When wood-based decorative panels – such as our range of MDF and PB décor products – are made, they undergo a process which sees the boards go from a mixture of woodchips or sawdust, to a pulp which is then pressed into either Particleboard (PB) or Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) You can find out more about how we do this in our article on the process of making wood-based panels. This process, however, involves the use of a blend of synthetic resins which contain a chemical called formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a strong smelling, colourless chemical which is produced through the catalytic oxidation of methanol and which is used in everything from preserving bodies, to paper towels and – of course – wood-based decorative panels. The issue arises with the fact that in high concentrations, formaldehyde can be dangerous and have adverse effects on the health of those who are exposed to it. As such, the use of formaldehyde in everyday items is highly regulated – and this is where E1 certification comes in.
In order to regulate the industrial use of formaldehyde, the European Panel Industry came up with a set of standards which dictated the maximum levels of formaldehyde emissions that wood-based boards can give off. E1 and E2 are the formaldehyde standards of safety which are recognised throughout Europe, as well as in some countries like South Africa, by companies such as Sonae Arauco. Other countries such as North America, Australia and Japan have their own regulations standards.
So, what does E1 accreditation mean?
E1 and E2 standards indicate the acceptable quantity of formaldehyde emissions for construction products, such as wood-based decorative panels, in which formaldehyde forms part of the production process. Depending on how much formaldehyde emissions the products give off, they will receive a classification of either E1 or E2.
- E1 is an emission level of less than .10 parts per million (ppm).
- E2 is an emission level of maximum 1.0 parts per million (ppm)
For boards to receive E1 certification, samples must be submitted to an independent laboratory where the board samples will then undergo tests in a specialised chamber which measures the amount of formaldehyde emissions each sample emits. Depending on these emissions, the boards will then receive either E1 or E2 certification.
Sonae Arauco is proud to have achieved E1 accreditation, which means that our wood-based decorative panels fall within the standards of the acceptable amount of formaldehyde emissions in parts per million. This means that our boards are safe to use and you, as our customers, can rest assured that our boards have been made with your health and safety having been taken into consideration.