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Pop quiz at IKEA

I love collecting anecdotes from the field and managed to do so while surviving a recent evening adventure to IKEA. I’m shopping for cabinets and wanted to research the low-end options a bit more. I’ll just get right to the quote of the night. To my question, “do your cabinets contain formaldehyde?” the friendly helper enthusiastically says, “NO! In fact, people who go green use our cabinets.” Wow. I’m almost not sure what to call this. It needs a name. Buzzword green-cheese? She went on to tell me that some sort of green TV or channel uses IKEA cabinets. Great. But back to the formaldehyde. Despite the humorous buzzword green-cheese, which probably works just fine for many audiences, I was pleasantly surprised by her response. UNTIL I read the fine print at home. Here goes:

So essentially, they tell us that formaldehyde is bad, but that they use it anyways. On the following page, they go on to say how little they use, but the advertised “no formaldehyde” appears to be false:

“we submit our products to the toughest standards for formaldehyde emissions … this means the levels of formaldehyde emission are insignificant”

One more thing learned about cabinets at IKEA:

They’ve got a decent selection of doors, including a good amount of solid wood, but you can’t get a solid wood door painted white! Well, you can, but the foil they use feels super cheap and like plastic. And all their finishing options mean that painting it yourself is not a real option.


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