There are small amounts of formaldehyde in nearly all homes.
Formaldehyde levels are higher in
New products that often contain high levels of formaldehyde include
Homes built after 1990
Newer homes are better insulated, so less air is moving into and out of the home. Less air movement can cause formaldehyde to stay in the home’s air longer.
Formaldehyde is also found in gas stoves, open fireplaces, and outdoor air pollution.
Health problems from formaldehyde can happen in anyone, but children, older adults, and people with asthma and other breathing problems are more likely to have these symptoms.
Health effects of formaldehyde are eye, nose and throat burning and irritation; nausea; skin rashes; and breathing difficulties in some people. High concentrations of formaldehyde can trigger asthma attacks.
Formaldehyde is also considered a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing substance), classified as a Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP) by the EPA. The World Health Organization recommends levels below 100 ng/L or 80 ppb.
Since formaldehyde is present in so many building materials and household products, every home should be tested for the presence of this toxic chemical.
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