Plywood is used in almost every single home.
Our homes are incomplete without it. Plywood these days is there in almost every nook and corner of your home as your wardrobes, beds, tables, sofa and even your babies crib.
In India However, we have a major Problem. 25% of the plywood sold here is counterfeit and of a substantially lower quality compared to the original branded Plywood.
Now, why should you care if you’re buying fake or branded? Well, counterfeit plywood is causing cancer. Yes. You heard me right. It can severely affect your health.
25% is still less than the amount of Fake News being spread by most news anchors in our country!! But hey, at least they don’t give you cancer.
Your plywood unfortunately, can.
We are already troubled enough by fake electronics, clothes and the worst case scenario of counterfeit packaged foods. Plywood – used to make furniture is just an add on.
The way any counterfeit manufacturers operate is they cut costs. At all costs. They don’t follow standards, don’t follow regulations, and use hazardous cheaply available materials to manufacture.
Now let me explain how plywood is made, and where are the places counterfeit companies cut costs.
Plywood has 3 steps in manufacturing
– Peeling veneer
– Stacking and cutting
– Gluing and pressing
In this process, lot of chemicals are used in Gluing stage. The most harmful of glues is Urea Formaldehyde. Now, in a regulated concentration, it will not have any impact on you, but when used without any standard, and when the quality of glue used is cheap, it starts creating problems.
Counterfeit manufacturers don’t follow any regulations and standards, and as you’d expect, they use very poor quality UF glues. This is the main cause of cancer. They literally manufacture it the cheapest way possible and, and invest in a roller with well-known brand names which they use to just “print” names of any brand you can imagine.
Brands on the other hand make sure the adhesive is safe and the level of urea is maintained at 1 PPM (recommended level by Bureau of Indian Standards).
Major brands get their plywoods certified – they ensure that the right method has been used for production, and well, they’re not killing you! Their adhesives are non-toxic and they have subjected their product to various tests on durability, strength and life.
For example – Plywood companies have something called a BWP standard. It stands for Boiling Water Proof – This test exposes the plywood into boiling water for 72 hours to test for its strength.
Counterfeiters have zero regards for any certifications or standards mandated by the governments.
Besides, counterfeit plywood would cause a lot of sawdust to be emitted during carpentry.
Saw dust can also cause a lot of respiratory issues and also leads to close exposure to the carcinogen formaldehyde.
Another additional requirement that the standard mandates is the treatment to prevent borer and termites.
Sure you have guessed by now that counterfeit plywood manufacturers would in no way be interested in keeping your furniture borer or termite free.
They have no incentives to do so and they have nothing to lose.
It’s the consumers and the brands that lose out.
So what do we do about it?
The good thing is most of the brands now realize the counterfeit problem.
Using technology, various brands like Kitply, Century etc. allow users to authenticate wether they’re buying a genuine plywood.
There’s a company called Uniqolabel which works with brands to ensure that each product the brands sells, has, well, a unique label.
Customers can themselves download an app to verify if the plywood they’re purchasing is genuine or not.
The idea here is to make sure you’re getting what you pay for!