Formaldehyde – A Possible Source of Health Problems
Formaldehyde is a chemical widely used in many building materials and household products. According to the Environmental Defense Scoreboard it is ranked as one of the most hazardous compounds to ecosystems and human health.
Exposure to formaldehyde affects people differently. Some experience no adverse reactions when exposed to moderate levels, while others do, even after low exposure. This colorless, pungent gas can cause one or more of the following health problems:
- Eye irritation or watery eyes
- Nose irritation
- Skin rashes
- Throat irritation
- Upper respiratory tract irritation
Formaldehyde exists in every home to some degree
The concentrations in the home vary depending on the age of the home and the quantity of pressed wood products. Here is a partial listing of products that may contain formaldehyde or formaldehyde releasing agents.
- Air fresheners
- Carpet backings
- Cigarette smoking
- Drapery fabric
- Floor polishes
- Fuel burning appliances – wood, kerosene or natural gas
- Household liquid scouring cleaners
- Household rug and upholstery cleaners
- Paper products
- Particle board – furniture, fixtures, cabinets
- Permanent press clothing
- Plywood paneling resins
- Rug and upholstery cleaners
- Scatter rugs and bath mats
- Sheet vinyl flooring
- Toilet bowl cleaners
- Wall coverings
Steps to Reduce Exposure
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends taking the following steps to reduce household exposure to formaldehyde:
- Use “exterior-grade” pressed wood products (lower-emitting because they contain phenol resins, not urea resins).
- Use air conditioning and dehumidifier to maintain moderate temperature and reduce humidity levels.
- Increase ventilation, particularly after bringing new sources of formaldehyde into the home.
Other steps include:
- Buy formaldehyde-free products.
- Wash permanent press clothing prior to use.
- Avoid products that contain these formaldehyde releasing agents such as bronopol, diazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl, and quaternium 15.
Air Filtration Systems, Air Purifiers, Air Cleaners, for home, home office, and small spaces
- Compact portable system for people who suffer with Allergen super sensitivity
- Ozone free system, with 99.97% sub micron dust removal
- Powerful backward inclined motorized impeller provides high room air changes
- High efficiency motor with low amperage draw
- Digital variable speed control allows for whisper quiet night time operation
- Airflow: 700 CFM free air, Operating range: 60 – 500 CFM
- Whisper quiet operation bedtime operation, 42 dBA at low speed
- Audible and visual LED alarms provide feedback
- Microprocessor AUTOFLOW feature speeds up fan automatically as filters get dirty to maintain airflow
- Easy serviceability and filter changing
- Ability to customize filter sequence to meet specific needs
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