Say bye to formaldehyde

Californians will be able to breathe a little easier come 2009 thanks to new rules intended to rid the air of a known cancer-causing chemical.

The California Air Resources Board recently approved regulations requiring wood-products manufacturers to cut in half their use of formaldehyde—a chemical commonly found in plywood used for kitchen cabinets, shelving, countertops and some furniture.

The chemical, which is used in glue and resin, has been linked to throat cancer, asthma, and increased allergies in children. Once the regulations are fully implemented in 2012, formaldehyde emissions from wood products will be cut by nearly 60 percent in the state.