Our children’s health and well-being are of utmost importance to us and we take extra care in what they do, use, eat and see. But some times we are unaware that there are unseen harmful substances in things they use.
Allow us to explain the various concerns, features and materials to consider when choosing an ergonomic product.
The material used on the Ergonomic Table Top is usually made from either chip- board or Laminated Wood. These types of wood come in different quality, density and design. So which is the better material? Let us explain the following parameters:
1. Emission from the wood used on table top
All type of boards are manufactured by bonding layers upon layers of pulp, wood chips, particles with industrial glues. There is a substance widely used in the production of industrial glue, paste or resins.The industrial name for this substance is Formaldehyde. It is a colourless gas with a pungent, irritating odour.Formaldehyde is a very harmful substance and has been identified to cause nasal cancers, Some studies have indicated possible association between other type of cancers and formaldehyde exposure.
Hence, do look for manufacturers that display products with ‘E0/E1’ marking. The following table is an illustration of emission levels. E0 is the highest and safest level.
|Emission Class/Limit (mg/l)||Emission Limit
|E0||Less than or equal to 0.5||Less than or equal to 0.041|
|E1||Less than or equal to 1.0||Less than or equal to 0.08|
|E2||Less than or equal to 2.0||Less than or equal to 0.16|
|E3||Greater than 2.0||Greater than 0.16|
Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia: www.ewp.asn.au
Particle/Chipboard are certified with Zero-One Formaldehyde emission.
2. Types of wood/board used on table top
There are predominately 3 main types of boards used by furniture manufacturers. Plywood: It is a sheet material manufactured from thin layers or "plies" of wood veneer that are glued together with adjacent layers having their wood grain rotated up to 90 degrees to one another.
Melamine Faced Chipboard (MFC): Chipboard board, also known as Particleboard, is an engineered wood product manufactured from wood chips, saw mill shavings, or even sawdust, and a synthetic resin or other suitable binder, which is pressed and extruded. A type of plastic material (Urea Melamine resins) are used to cover the wood surfaces so as to offer water resistance. It is important to note that some MFC board are not fully covered, mainly to save on manufacturing costs.
Medium density fiberboard (MDF): MDF is an engineered wood product made by breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into wood fibers, often in a defibrillator, combining it with wax and a resin binder, and forming panels by applying high temperature and pressure. MDF is generally denser than plywood. It is made up of separated fibers but can be used as a building material similar in application to plywood. It is stronger and much denser than particle board.
Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia: Facts on Particle Board
• Uses both MFC and MDF Boards.
• MFC boards are fully covered with Melamine for maximum moisture resistant.
3. Resistance to humidity
Many of the countries in Asia are in the Tropical Zone and humidity level is very high through out the year. People living in these countries are very much aware that humidity not only causes discomfort and skin irritation, it also damages our valuable products. Hence, look for table tops that offer maximum protection against humidity.
Moisture Resistant (MR) properties: Board that is manufactured meeting Moisture Resistant (MR) properties, displays a high degree of resistance to moisture. Individual sheets of MR Particleboard can usually be identified by green particles in the core of the board, visible on board edges.
Covered with Melamine: Melamine is a form of plastic and is heat moulded onto boards surfaces as part of the manufacturing process. Lower cost boards have melamine face on top side while the bottom side is either bare or with superficial covering. Some manufacturers have plastic decorative panels to cover the bare chipboard edge.
Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia: Facts on Particle Board
MCF boards are fully covered with Melamine and with Moisture Resistant (MR) properties. Green particle indicators can be found in the core of the board.
4. How friendly are we towards environment
As we are all aware, the world is changing and Earth's Ecosystems are decaying. Let us do our part in preserving the earth’s vulnerable environment. Use only products with the PEFC certification.
PEFC Certified: The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is an international non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management. PEFC works throughout the entire forest supply chain to promote good practice in the forest and to ensure that timber and non-timber forest products are produced with respect for the highest ecological, social and ethical standards.
Kid2Youth Standard: Particle/Chip board suppliers are PEFC Certified.
A table with four fixed legs may not need any technological consideration. But technology and product quality become a critical consideration when a table is expected to move up and down frequently. Besides good design, the reputation of the manufacturer of the mechanical driver has to be same, if not better than the furniture manufacturer. Look for furniture with reputable components.
Non-moving supporting components such as the bolts and level are usually not a major concern. It is the driving device that could cause operating issues. There are mainly 4 types of drivers used by manufacturers:
1. Pulley System: This is a small mechanical winch that you would need to hook onto the table and then pull a yard to turn the winch. One side of the winch is to turn the table up while flipping to other side is to turn the table down. There is a possibility of misplacing the palm size winch. A young child would not be able to re-attach the winch effectively.
2. Gear system: Turning a hand level to crank a spur gear to move the table either upwards or downwards. Moving the table’s height could be a chore, especially when you want to move a heavy table from seating to standing position. There is also a possibility of misplacing the level.
3. Pneumatic Gas Spring: This is not a mechanical spring, but a device that uses Nitrogen gas pressure to move a piston. By flipping a level or knop, the table top will move upwards due to the pressurised Nitrogen gas in the cylinder. To move the table down, the user would need to add weight onto the table top to counter the pressurize Nitrogen gas in the cylinder. There is concern about cylinder leaking especially from non-reputable brands.
4. Human powered without driving devices: User will lift or lower the table top. The downside is, the table top could be too heavy, especially when it is loaded with items.
Kid2Youth Standard: Uses Stabilus Pneumatic Gas Spring, a world-renowned German manufacturer for Gas Lift. Cylinder leaking is very remote and the manufacturer is so confident that the standard warranty offered is 10 years.
All manufacturers cover their bare steel frame with some form of protective coating. There are mainly 2 types of coating, either by conventional liquid paint or powder coating. The principle consideration is which is more durable and safer?
The main difference between a conventional liquid Paint and Powder coating is that the powder coating does not require a solvent to keep the binder and filler parts in a liquid suspension form. The Powder coating is typically applied electrostatically and is then cured under high heat to allow it to flow and form a “plastic skin".
The Powder may be a thermoplastic or a thermoset polymer. It is usually used to create a hard finish that is tougher and does not peel off as compared to conventional paint. Children playing with toys or using tables and chairs will come into contact with the paint and various materials used. Potential hazards are ingestion choking cuts by sharp parts chemical substance.
Powder coating is far more superior as compared to conventional liquid paint. Reference:
Wikipedia: Toy Safety
Wikipedia: EN 71.3
Wikipedia: Powder Coating
a. Metals are covered with high-grade Dry Powder coating.
b. Materials used meets EN71.3.
When you buy TCT products you can be sure that products are free from any hazardous chemicals or substances. They are safe for you, and your children and doesn't harm the environment. All the materials and components are of best quality available.
kid2youth desks and chairs are designed to adjust to your child's body as they grow and they are built to last their entire study life.