Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) refers to a type of manufactured composite board used to make furniture, doors, flooring and walls. The making of MDF began in the United States in 1966, according to the University of Tennessee.
MDF is constructed from wood fibres bonded with a synthetic resin such as urea formaldehyde. Manufacturers use wood fibres leftover from lumber and plywood manufacturing to make MDF.
MDF has no surface grain, so cutting, filing or drilling does not damage its surface. MDF can be painted, veneered or laminated to produce an attractive finish.
Cutting or sanding MDF may release urea formaldehyde, a suspected human carcinogen. MDF may also constantly release small amounts of urea formaldehyde unless it is completely sealed with paint. Any exposure to formaldehyde increases the risk of cancer, according to the University of Tennessee.
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