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Wood, Paper, Printing

Other raw materials used by the forest-based industries

A host of other raw materials are needed by the forest-based industries to produce their products. Some can be manufactured from wood or other forest-based raw materials or bought in. These include adhesives or bonding agents, for example for fixing veneer plies together in plywood and also chips and fibres in particleboard and fibreboard respectively. These often contain a substance called formaldehyde, which under certain conditions can be carcinogenic, so precautions have to be in place to minimise the exposure to it of those working in the industries concerned.

Latex is a bonding agent typically added in to make certain types of paper, so as to improve fibre binding but moreover printability. Starch is another important agent in this context and the EU paper industry uses over a million tons a year of starch for this purpose. Further information on the Confederation of European Paper Industries website.

Since many wood species, especially coniferous ones, are not naturally durable in air or in ground contact, they need to be protected against weathering and/or rot by applying surfacings or coatings. These can be as a simple barrier layer, such as paint or oil, or, in the case of e.g. fungicides, impregnated into the wood under pressure. Further information on the Western European Institute for Wood Impregnation website.

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