Photo courtesy of Stor-X featuring their Eco-SystemTM
Just searching for my clothes in the morning can give me a headache. I can never find where I put anything. Does this sound like you? Thinking about remodeling your closet with a closet system that can take that “where did I put those shoes I need for today” frustration out of the way? Don’t replace your lack of organization with a new problem caused by a closet system that contains urea-formaldehyde.
Most closet systems are made of particleboard, which is an engineered product made of wood waste. Its core is bonded together with a urea-formaldehyde resin, and overlaid with a melamine exterior. So how is a harmless closet system with formaldehyde going to harm me?
“Formaldehyde, a colorless, pungent-smelling gas, can cause watery eyes, burning sensations in the eyes and throat, nausea, and difficulty in breathing in some humans exposed at elevated levels (above 0.1 parts per million). High concentrations may trigger attacks in people with asthma. There is evidence that some people can develop sensitivity to formaldehyde. It has also been shown to cause cancer in animals and may cause cancer in humans. Health effects include eye, nose, and throat irritation; wheezing and coughing; fatigue; skin rash; severe allergic reactions. May cause cancer. May also cause other effects listed under ‘organic gases.’ EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System Profile.
Many houses today are built tighter for energy efficiency. In addition, our houses contain furniture, shelving, insulation, and cabinets which all contain formaldehyde increasing our exposure to formaldehyde. “All wood has some naturally occurring formaldehyde. But more formaldehyde is added to composite wood in the form of certain resins, which are used to bind wood particles together,” according to April 2007 news release of The California Air Resource Board. So you ask, what is a girl going to do now?
Are there Green Closets Systems Out there?
Yes Virginia, there are indeed three green closet companies that I have encountered in the last couple of years: Stor-X, California Closets, and Terra Cabinets. Over this week, I will be featuring a post on each of these closet companies. Up first is Stor-x, so hang on to your non-plastic hangers…
STOR-X, A Canadian Company Who Is No Stranger to Green Closet Systems
When we were building our house a couple of years ago, I knew that most closet systems were made out of particleboard, which is comprised of wood waste bonded together with a urea-formaldehyde resin. It was near impossible to find a green alternative but my husband by accident and dumb luck found STOR-X Organizing Systems (“STOR-X”), located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada mentioned in a remote article. They produced closet systems made out of Wheatboard, which was a particleboard made by Dow out of wheat. It was bonded together with a phenol formaldehyde resin, which emits a low level of formaldehyde. Dow no longer distributes Wheatboard and STOR-X is currently evaluating and manufacturing closet systems using three other environmental friendly alternatives, SkyBlend, Arreis, and Encore.
SkyBlend melamine is manufactured by Roseburg Forest Products and is a particleboard comprised of 100% pre-consumer recycled wood fiber. The boards contain a phenol formaldehyde resin. This resin is used to bond the particleboard’s core together and the melamine exterior to the board. “Third party testing verifies that Roseburg SkyBlend formaldehyde emissions (.00-.01ppm) are no greater than levels occurring in outdoor ambient air conditions,” according to Roseburg.
Arreis, a sustainable designed fiberboard, is a medium density fiberboard board made by Sierra Pine. It contains a formaldehyde free resin and 100% recycled post industrial wood waste. According to Sierra Pine, Arreis “meets the most stringent formaldehyde emission standards in the world.” The third product, Encore, is a brand new sustainable designed fiberboard from Sierra Pine. It is an environmentally friendly particleboard that contains a phenol formaldehyde resin, emits very low levels of formaldehyde, and is made out of recycled post industrial wood fiber. According to Sierra Pine, Encore is the only particleboard on the market toady that meets the ANSI specifications for classification as M-3 Industrial Particleboard due its physical properties and is environmentally friendly. One of its assets is its strength.
The third product, Encore, is a brand new sustainable designed fiberboard from Sierra Pine. It is an environmentally friendly particleboard that contains a phenol formaldehyde resin, emits very low levels of formaldehyde, and is made out of recycled post industrial wood fiber. According to Sierra Pine, Encore is the only particleboard on the market toady that meets the ANSI specifications for classification as M-3 Industrial Particleboard due its physical properties and is environmentally friendly. One of its assets is its strength.
All three products qualify for LEED credit in the construction of new buildings.
STOR-X prides itself on their hands on approach. Their factory is right down the hall from their engineering team. The Company engineers each unique closet system right in their factory based on the specifications their dealers throughout North America submit. They are working towards having multiple dealers in every state. Although their dealers are not listed on their website, you may contact STOR-X for the location of the dealer nearest your location. At present there is very little on the website as to their green option except in their FAQ section.
If there is not a dealer near you, STOR-X can configure the closet systems for you based upon architectural plans and measurements. With any carpentry job, always measure twice. In my case, at the time, there was not a dealer near me. We submitted our architectural drawing to them, and STOR-X designed all the closet systems. Our carpenter rechecked all the closest system measurements again before STOR-X started the systems. My carpenter remarked how easy it was to put up the systems.
Since STOR-X has added more dealers since I purchased my closet systems, you should be able to avoid measuring yourself or installing yourself. We have had our closet systems for two years, and they still look as good as they did when we installed them.
Next, California Closets-Even the Big Storage Boys Are Going Green
- Sierra Pine’s Medite II and Medex, Excellent Eco-Friendly Plywood Alternatives
- Terra Cabinets, A Socially Responsible Company where Greening Your Closets is a Priority
- California Closets–Even the Big Storage Boys are Going Green
- Tru-Stile: A Solution for Architectural Green Designed Doors
- Volatile Organic Compounds: Harmful in Our Home. Learn to Choose Better.