Does particle board furniture covered with acrylic lacquer and veneer layer off gas, or does the top layer block the off gassing?

Asked by MARZENA
Schaumburg, IL

I am concerned about some IKEA furniture that I have. It is mainly particle board with acrylic lacquer and veneer on top. Are all of these components toxic? Does the lacquer or the vaneer block the particle board from off gassing?


Jason Kliwinski

Answered by Jason Kliwinski

Lambertville, NJ

The Green Living and Building Center

September 9, 2013

Particle board contains formaldehyde typically which does offgas. It depends if IKEA offgases this in the manufacturing process or not.

Lacquer contains Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which offgas more than particle board typically.

Plastic laminate can be used to seal in these chemicals so long as it is properly done and all edges are sealed. As soon as the laminate starts to degrade or delaminate, the seal is broken though. Laminate itself is pretty inert and most are Greengaurd certified because they themselves do not offgas, but it depends on the company.


For more information:

Read "Is there a finish I can use to seal MDF surfaces on a changing table for my baby’s nursery?" a Q&A answered by Debbie Sek.

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