A warning note comes with the use of formaldehyde, with both potential hazard to eyes or the respiration system. Other sources advert how formaldehyde, the resin used to paste the material, could act promoting abnormal cell division and the well-known issue after it. Another example of how trying to mimic nature with synthetic products might create risks, some of them incidentals without previous detection.
Sadly when you buy DM / MDF, there's not a warning notice for using protective equipment and the same occurs with other materials that are normally sold by pieces in cutting services or by size. It looks like wood, but natural wood doesn't cause more than asthma as far as the longtime experience says. To prevent unwanted risks toward the population, these places —and probably some have— should inform users with clear indications in the same way that others like chemicals need to accompany by law instructions of use. As some may not like the idea because it counteracts sales, that's why legislation comes to protect people against whom that even include others' health convergences in the plan for private profit.
Is other kind of resin unavailable? Are we then talking about production price and regularity?
Synthetic wood has either way some advantages singularly if it helps to avoid more damage to unique natural areas and the carbon dioxide to oxygen daily manufacturing. When the casual user called by responsibility toward the environment, the low price or both also gains a higher risk for health, some could say even fatal, then this product starts to be not as wonderful as it would seem in non controlled environments like DIY. Tiny particles are also released to the public atmosphere after working with several types of machines, so even with protective equipment the user is creating an obvious class of air pollution that affects more than one person.
As always, there are people that work with these panels every day and without protective equipment, and others smoke during decades without losing their life. Well, that shouldn't be an excuse for playing lottery with the most important element of all.