Will I Die a Horrible and Painful Death If I Buy RTA Kitchen Cabinets From China?

Will you die a horrible and painful death if you buy RTA Kitchen Cabinets from China?  Yes, there is that possibility…. if they are not properly secured to the wall and they fall on your head (ok, so I am being sarcastic).  While the idea of you dying from your kitchen cabinets may sound crazy, there are a lot of people that are worried about “toxic chemicals” and off gases because they heard a story from a friend who told a friend who told a friend that anything made from plywood out of China is dangerous… well, I am here to dispel that myth.

If you are active on any of the home improvement forums or chatrooms, at least once a month you will see people asking “are cabinets out of China safe?” and inevitably someone will respond and say that they are full of toxic chemicals.  This is usually not based on fact, but rather because of someone that doesn’t think you should buy a product that is made outside of the US, or because they heard a report several years ago about the concern over formaldehyde in the glue…however, it just isn’t true.    In 2009 (I believe), California passed phase 1 of the ATCM (Airborne Toxic Control Measure) which set strict limits which capped emissions of formaldehyde, but it was also because a lot of US manufacturers were using it in their glue as well (it wasn’t just because products out of China had formaldehyde).   Phase 2 of the CARB compliance procedure took place later that same year and put even tighter restrictions on emissions.

With California being a major gateway for containers from China, all of the factories were forced to become CARB 2 compliant or not be able sell their cabinets in the U.S.    As you can guess, all of the factories that we have dealt with, immediately became compliant and had to get an independent verification to ensure they complied.   Any cabinet line where the factory has been inspected, will have a CARB 2 compliant logo like the ones below:

Kitchen Cabinet Carb 2 Compliance

If you see this logo on the box or on the website of the company, it is a pretty safe bet that you will not die a horrible and painful death from these cabinets.   Even if you don’t see it on the box, CARB 2 compliance has become the norm now, rather than the exception.

So when it comes down to the safety of the cabinets from an emissions standard or the use of “toxic chemicals” this is more of a myth than fact.   If you would like to read the full story about CARB 2 compliance, Columbia Forest Products has a great pdf that explains everything: CARB Compliance FAQ

All of our cabinets come from CARB Compliant factories that have been independently verified and are held to the highest standards of the new California emissions laws.

If you found this blog post useful, please share it with your friends or post it on Facebook.  If you disagree with anything I said, or have any comments, feel free to leave them below

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