EMSL Analytical, Inc.

Toxic formaldehyde very common in homes

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Courtesy of EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical provides formaldehyde testing solutions for industry and the public. Formaldehyde can be found in most homes across the country. The chemical is commonly used to manufacture numerous building materials and household items. The most significant source of formaldehyde in most homes is from pressed wood products made with formaldehyde containing adhesives.

According to the EPA, “High concentrations may trigger attacks in people with asthma.” They go on to state that formaldehyde has been shown to cause cancer in animals and it may cause cancer in humans. The major exposure risks associated with formaldehyde come from occupants inhaling contaminated air. Other health issues include watery eyes, nausea and difficulty breathing.

Formaldehyde is currently monitored in working environments and the current “permissible exposure limits” (PELs) for formaldehyde in the workplace are 0.75 parts per million (ppm) as an 8 hour time-weighted average (TWA) – meaning that exposures for an 8 hour work day should not exceed 0.75 ppm PEL.

Unfortunately there are no nationwide permissible limits for home environments, although earlier this year California did enact strict regulations to reduce formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products made or sold in the state.

The health effects associated with elevated levels of exposure have brought to light the dangers from prolonged and repeated contact with the chemical. “Formaldehyde is so often found in homes and commercial properties across our nation,” reported Joe Frasca, Executive Vice President for EMSL Analytical. “Since it is dangerous to be exposed to the chemical for long periods at low doses or even short periods at high doses it is important to test the air quality to ensure occupant safety,” Frasca continued.

EMSL’s network of nearly 40 laboratories in the United States and Canada has been providing quality analytical services since 1981. To learn more about formaldehyde testing or other testing needs please visit www.EMSL.com or call (800) 220-3675.

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