Toxins in Structural Wood Products

Wood beams

There’s lots of toxins in our environment and lots of misinformation about them -especially the ones found in building materials- on the internet and elsewhere. Air quality can be affected by VOCs (Volitile Organic Compounds).

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects.”

Reference: EPA website

Biggest concern in manufactured wood 

In manufactured wood products, the biggest concern is urea formaldehyde. This is often found in highly processed, interior wood products. It is NOT usually found in engineered structural wood building materials, despite common misinformation to the contrary.

This table, published in the APA Technical Note: Formaldehyde and Engineered Wood Products #‎J330‬ summarizes North American engineered wood products. Note Urea Formaldehyde is not found in these structural wood products.

This document is also relevant on the topic of Formaldehyde. Note the emphasis on interior and hardwood engineered wood products containing Urea Formaldehyde.

Cheryl Ciecko is an ALA, LEED AP, Licensed Architect who helps homeowners and building professionals create safe homes through online education to prevent mold, water damage, and poor indoor air quality. 


You can find her video masterclasses, online programs, and education subscription options at .


For detailed answers on your specific situation or building project, schedule your appointment for an individual consultation.




The information contained in this presentation is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prescribe, treat, or cure any disease, ailment or injury to the body. It is not medical advice. FDA regulations prohibit the use of medical claims in conjunction with the sale of any product not approved by the FDA. Statements made herein have not been evaluated by the FDA. 

Any products, techniques, and/or personal usage tips referred to are not suggested as a replacement for proper treatment from a licensed health care professional. I am not a licensed health care professional and the decision to use or not to use any of this information is the sole responsibility of the listener and/or reader. Everyone is an individual with different body types, different blood types, different body chemistries, and it is important to remember that what works for one person may not work for another person.