Some woods are treated and varnished without the use of dangerous chemicals ,such as the ones discussed in other sections.
There are also measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of the wood being damaged. For example, a drier environment lowers the chance of woodworm. Also, in cases where it is absolutely necessary to use a varnish, there are natural, non-toxic varnishes which can help such as linseed oil treatments, borax or beeswax (provided that solvents e.g. toluene have not been added) etc.
There is also a wide range of products on sale (oils, insulation, natural paints and varnishes, fungicides and insecticides etc.) which are all checked for their “eco” authenticity and whether they are less dangerous than those which are often used indiscriminately.
As an alternative to chipboard worktops stuck together with formaldehyde-containing glues, there are some companies which sell worktops that have used less harmful glues, including vegetable-based or magnesite.
For cases where formaldehyde-containing worktops cannot be removed, you can cover it with a non-toxic varnish which could minimise formaldehyde emissions.