Louisiana Pacific Corporation is the largest producer in the world when it comes to OSB (Oriented strand board or Particle Board) and producing engineered woods. They have currently been using and have used Phenol Formaldehyde Resin for years.
Resin is used as a form of glue to put together products. Louisiana Pacific Corporation has also received and given permission from Peace Valley Oriented Standard board to be used.
Resin is a sticky flammable organic substance that is insoluble in water and is given off by trees and other plants. It is basically plastic that has none or limited environmental and health concerns. The only thing that is worrisome by using a substance like Resin is that it is proven to start fires.
After Louisiana Pacific Corporation has been using Resin for many years they have decided that they want to use Methylene Diphenyl Diisocyanate or MDI in their Peace Valley OSB mill in Fort St. John.
MDI is similar to Resin as it is used as glue to put things together; for example, a wood panel.
However, there are some health concerns that come with using a substance like MDI. It can cause sensitization, asthma, dermatitis, eczema, dyspnea, and respiratory impairments. There are also some environmental concerns too. For example, MDI can add toxins and harm plants and animals.
If used and decomposed correctly there would be little to worry about, with regards to health and environmental concerns.
The people of Fort St. John are however concerned with the use of HDI. They are worries about the health risks, air quality and health issues by using a substance and/or product like MDI in the mills.
To bring relief to the citizens of Fort St. John, the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office or the EAO has stated the use of MDI would not cause any big impact and/or concerns with the environment and human health.
On the other hand, B.C. has no air emission standard so this may be hard to say.
Nevertheless, the EAO went off of the Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario’s standards when it came to air emission standards.
Furthermore, EAO concluded that the use of MDI has no significant health, environmental or economic risks for the community of Fort St. John.
The Peace Valley Oriented Standard Board has passed and granted the Environmental Certificate to allow chemical use in their manufacturing development.
As an extra step Louisiana Pacific Corporation has decided to address any health concerns and will develop a health and safety plan to protect their workers.
They will outline proper handling of MDI and the equipment and educate the workers about this new substance.
The Louisiana Pacific Corporation is pretty positive that they will not face any problems using MDI. Since other companies have been using this substance for a long time and consider it to be lower risk than using Resin. This is because MDI has much lower risk of causing a fire compared to Resin.