The Chemical Known as Formaldehyde

Exposure to Formaldehyde can have serious health effects. It can lead to respiratory trouble, eye, nose and throat irritation, and other symptoms. It was classified as a carcinogen in 2004. But, exposure is difficult to limit because it is naturally present in the environment in varying amounts.

In 2015, CBS 60 Minutes reported on elevated formaldehyde levels from composite wood flooring manufactured in China. This caused widespread concern and confusion for people who had laminate flooring in their homes and buildings. Combustion sources and environmental tobacco smoke typically increase the concentration indoors as well.

Are you wondering how you can reduce your exposure??

  • Source Reduction
  • Proper Ventilation
  • Temperature and humidity control

These methods can result in acceptable levels. When using, or introducing products that are known to contain formaldehyde, let the products off gas (The release of volatile organic compounds and other chemicals off new, manufactured items) outside of the living space beforehand.

Ozonation and other remediation techniques involving energetic radiation have been used in reduction efforts but sometime prove counter-productive by generating different harmful by-products or simply more formaldehyde.

The healthiest indoor air is that which contains the minimum number of VOCs possible. The best way to reduce these are source reduction and ventilation improvements.


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