Adhesives Magazine

Soy Wood Adhesives Help Replace Cancer-Causing Materials

November 3, 2010

President Obama signed a bill in July limiting formaldehyde emissions from pressed wood products. This created a need to find an alternative to this cancer-causing chemical. Soy-based wood adhesives can help fill this need.

Many wood adhesives contain urea formaldehyde, which the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer identified as a known human carcinogen. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside a home is often more polluted than the air on the outside. With the average American spending 85% of their time indoors, that can mean a lot of exposure to polluted air.

Soy-based adhesives can help reduce the use of formaldehyde. For example, one company the United Soybean Board is working with, Columbia Forest Products, has developed and proven a formaldehyde-free plywood technology called PureBond. To date, 40 million PureBond plywood panels have been installed in the U.S.

Using soy-based adhesives and other bio-based products reduces reliance on foreign petrochemicals and can help improve the environment by reducing VOC emissions. Soy-based adhesives in interior wood products prove to be a healthy product that also performs well. According to Columbia Forest Products, PureBond panels display better water resistance than formaldehyde plywood with equal or better strength and durability.

This product represents an expanding market, one that uses soy flour, a new material growing in popularity. Columbia Forest Products uses approximately 15 million pounds of flour processed from U.S. soybeans annually.

To learn more about other soy products or to browse the USB’s online Soy Products Guide, click here.