Formaldehyde is a colorless, organic chemical and an excellent
preservative and bonding agent. Formaldehyde is in your lipstick
, toothpaste , soft drinks, shampoo kitchen cabinets , carpeting
and wall board of your kids school and parents mobile home. It
might be in the paints you could use. Eye, nose and throat irritation
coughing, skin rashes, headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting,
and nosebleeds are just a few of the everyday symptoms of formaldehyde.
EPA has classified formaldehyde as a Probable Human Carcinogen
meaning that it causes cancer in animals and likely humans. A
great percentage of people are hypersensitive to the irritant
effects of formaldehyde even at lowest of levels. People often
develop a hypersensitivity after breathing formaldehyde vapors
during a renovation of home or remodeling or working in a carpet
or fabric store. Seamstresses are known to develop these symptoms
after cutting and sewing formaldehyde laden fabrics for years.
Most homes and offices have measurable formaldehyde levels using
conventional particle board sub flooring, wall boards and carpets.
Two to five years after installation, two to three times the acceptable
limit of formaldehyde can be measure in the air . Formaldehyde
is in pressed wood products, particleboard, plywood, medium-density
fiberboard and paneling used in furniture manufacturing, new home
construction, remodeling and renovation, and mobile home construction.
Insulation of formaldehyde, Urea-formaldehyde foam insulation
(UFFI) was a big source of contamination in the past. Formaldehyde
products usually only emit vapors for 7 to 8 years. The emissions
are most detrimental during the first few 365 days and the intensity
gradually eases up over the next 7 to 8 years. Most home insulated
with UFFI had indoor air concentrations of under 0.1 parts per
millions (ppm) one year after installation. However UFFI when
exposed to extreme heat or moisture can begin to emit formaldehyde
vapors no matter how old the insulation It is. Some consumer paper
products, such as grocery bags, waxed papers, facial tissues and
paper towels, are treated with urea-formaldehyde (UF) resins to
make them stronger. Many common household cleaning agents also
contain formaldehyde, and UF resins are used as stiffeners, wrinkle
resisters, water repellents, fire retardants and adhesive binders
in floor covering, carpet backing and permanent-press clothes.
Unexplained headache, rashes, nausea, vomiting, nose bleeds, or
eye, nose, or throat irritation could mean levels of formaldehyde
gas are too high . Newer mobile or prefabricated home expose their
residents to the highest levels since they usually contain high
amounts of particle board materials and have a tight construction
that prevents air flow. Toxic fumes from formaldehyde remains
in the air. Ventilation and circulation of outside air into the
home is imperative and installing or using exhaust fans is not
a mistake. It may reduce your level of contamination to below
0.1 ppm. If formaldehyde is in the insulation, particleboard or
sub flooring, it is too difficult or expensive to remove the source
walls and floors and cabinets may be covered with vapor-barriers
the source of formaldehyde is paneling, plywood or particleboard,
you may be able to coat it with special sealers like Polyureseal
BP, hard seal or acrylac. Air
Purification to remove chemicals for the air can reduce contamination
of your home or office. If the humidity level inside your home
is above 50%, using dehumidifiers to reduce the humidity will
reduce formaldehyde levels. Common house plants may be able to
filter formaldehyde out of indoor air. Solid wood for furniture
and cabinets are better for you than particle board cabinets.
Using paints with
as little vocs and formaldehyde as possible in the future
would help health along. Call us for tips on how to build with
non toxic formaldehyde free paints and how to block the formaldehyde
you might have in your home.
1 800 968 9355 or e mail
TO THE EPA FOR THE INFORMATION.
disapproves of Formaldehyde so why is it everywhere in your home?
EPA's Integrated Risk Information System profile -http://www.epa.gov/iris/subst/0419.htm
in Homes Average concentrations in older homes without UFFI are generally
well below 0.1 (ppm). In homes with significant amounts of new pressed
wood products, levels can be greater than 0.3 ppm.
Steps to Reduce Exposure * Use "exterior-grade" pressed wood products
(lower-emitting because they contain phenol resins, not urea resins).
Use air conditioning and dehumidifiers to maintain moderate temperature
and reduce humidity levels. * Increase ventilation, particularly after
bringing new sources of formaldehyde into the home.
Exposure to Formaldehyde in Homes Ask about the formaldehyde content of
pressed wood products, including building materials, cabinetry, and furniture
before you purchase them.
If you experience adverse reactions to formaldehyde, you may want to avoid
the use of pressed wood products and other formaldehyde-emitting goods.
Even if you do not experience such reactions, you may wish to reduce your
exposure as much as possible by purchasing exterior-grade products, which
emit less formaldehyde.
For further information on formaldehyde and consumer products, call the
EPA Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) assistance line (202-554-1404).
studies suggest that coating pressed wood products with polyurethane may
reduce formaldehyde emissions for some period of time. To be effective, any such coating must cover all surfaces and edges and
the ventilation and carefully follow the manufacturer instructions while
applying these coatings. (If you are sensitive to formaldehyde, check
the label contents before purchasing coating products to avoid buying
products that contain formaldehyde, as they will emit the chemical for
a short ???? time after application.
Maintain moderate temperature and humidity levels and provide adequate
ventilation. The rate at which formaldehyde is released is accelerated
by heat and may also depend somewhat on the humidity level. Therefore,
the use of dehumidifiers and air conditioning to control humidity and
to maintain a moderate temperature can help reduce formaldehyde emissions.