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The Observer August 2011


Local business owner Cassandra Nordell-MacLean was surprised when she found out how much formaldehyde is allowed to be in residential products like cabinets – as much at 70 parts per million, she says.

“Studies link it to depression, anxiety, general allergies and headaches,” she says.

It’s also a known carcinogen in rodents.

That’s why the company she founded with her husband Patrick MacLean in 2010, William Standen Co. Exquisite Design & Fine Cabinetry, has a focus in eco-friendly cabinetry.

“The biggest thing for me is the connection to health,” she says in the company’s MacGregor Sdrd. South showroom, which opened in April.

“Our ultimate goal is to provide healthy products that don’t contribute to illness.”

By using soy-based glues, they’ve managed to get their formaldehyde emissions down to about 0.5 parts per million – low enough to be certified green by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturer’s Association.

Quotes for cabinets from William Standen Co. have ranged from $6,000 to over $100,000 depending on the size and the space, says Nordell-MacLean.

“Cabinetries are the biggest contenders for releasing formaldehyde and other harmful chemicals into indoor air,” she says, but tables, dressers and other household wooden furniture can also release harmful materials.

“We make all that, too.”

William Standen Co., named after the pair’s father and grandfather, offers a team for renovations and installations, but they allow clients to work with their preferred contractors.

Nordell-MacLean says their business, which was founded from a previous venture in design and renovations, has grown every year.


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