Lumber and Allied Wood Products

The forest industry in Canada is one of the country’s largest industrial employers, directly and indirectly providing employment for more than one million Canadians across the country. In 2000, it generated 257,500 direct jobs and 772,500 indirect jobs, with the lumber and allied wood products sector responsible for about one quarter of both direct and indirect jobs. Sales of all forest products, including wood and allied products, produced in Canada during 2000 were $58.7 billion. Of that total, wood products accounted for $17 billion.

The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC 25) definition of the lumber and allied wood products industry covers a wide range of facilities. These include sawmills, and composite wood product facilities such as shingle mills, plywood mills, various types of panelboard mills, the wood door and window industry, and prefab wooden buildings.

Lumber and composite products are put to a large variety of uses from building products to household uses. However, the vast majority of lumber and allied wood products are used in residential and industrial construction. Historically, building material consisted of dimension lumber and plywood. However, within the last 30 years an increasing number of composite wood products and higher value engineered wood products have emerged.

Those facilities and establishments that deal directly with wood fibre as a raw material to produce a wood product include the following: sawmills, shakes and shingles mills, plywood and veneer (hardwood and softwood) mills,and panelboard mills which include particleboard mills, medium density fibreboard (MDF) mills, hardboard mills, oriented strandboard (OSB) and waferboard mills.

Lumber is produced from softwood or hardwood logs in a sawmill. Shakes and shingles are produced by hand splitting, sawing and tapering. These products are either air of kiln dried.

Panelboard products are manufactured from wood flakes, strands or sawdust to which resin is added before being sent to a hot press where the composite materials are pressed into boards.

Engineered wood products are basically composite materials, intended for use as a substitute for lumber and other structural materials. They are made from lumber, veneers, wood strands and other wood elements bound together with adhesives and include products such as laminated veneer lumber (LVL), parallel strand lumber (PSL) and glue-laminated lumber (gluelam).

Emissions from wood products facilities vary with mill type and process used. Typically they could include Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), and Carbon Monoxide (CO), methanol, formaldehyde, acrolein, or acelatdehyde.