Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a major source of indoor air pollution in North America, Asia and Europe. Formaldehyde is an irritant, which can produce allergic symptoms at very low levels and has been shown to be a carcinogen. Children and older people have the greatest personal health risk from exposure to formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde is a colorless gas compound (HCHO) that can irritate eyes, mucous membranes and the upper respiratory system. It can be inhaled or absorbed by the skin. Formaldehyde is used in many different products with approximately 6 billion pounds produced each year in products ranging from foam insulation and pressed wood products such as plywood, particle board, paneling to many floor coverings such as carpeting as well as furnishings. The only way to know if formaldehyde is in your home is to test

Even in small amounts formaldehyde can cause serious health problems and unfortunately it takes years to finally dissipate after being used in manufactured products. In some cases exposure to formaldehyde can increase a persons sensitivity to other irritants or chemicals that were never a problem in the past, making them allergic to almost anything. For some people, past exposure to formaldehyde has permanently impaired their health and well being for the rest of their lives.

Symptoms of low level exposure include:

  • Runny nose
  • Sinus irritation
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Frequent nausea
  • Dermatitis
  • Bronchitis
  • Decreased lung capacity
  • Sleeping & Breathing difficulties

Symptoms of high exposure include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Convulsions
  • Coma
  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Respiratory problems

A major source of formaldehyde was used in the mid 1970’s in buildings for insulation. It expanded to completely fill the space and than hardened. Unfortunately, it was found that this type of foam insulation emitted toxic formaldehyde fumes causing serious respiratory problems.

Call an environmental specialist like AC&E today to get proper testing done.