Formaldehyde, also known as methanal, is a colorless gas. When condensed, the gas gains different practical applications, and is often used in disinfectants and preservatives. However, it is important to note that this compound can be toxic.
Surprisingly, this chemical compound can be found in various forms and in various sources within your home or building. It is important to understand what goes into the products you purchase when constructing or furnishing your home or building.
Where is it hiding?
Formaldehyde is used in the production processes of many different products. This chemical can commonly be found in:
There are many more products Formaldehyde can be found, but the ones listed above are the primary culprit for high elevations of Formaldehyde in a home or building.
Specialized testing equipment, along with a specific laboratory analysis, is used to determine the Formaldehyde concentrations within your home or building.
What are the health risks associated with formaldehyde exposure?
Health effects vary depending on the individual.
Common symptoms can include:
Exposure can potentially exacerbate asthma symptoms and other respiratory illnesses.
It is important to know that no definitive "safe level" of exposure has been established. The best way to reduce the risk of adverse health effects is to limit exposure.
Are there ways to reduce formaldehyde exposure within my home?
While eliminating all formaldehyde sources isn't always possible, there are ways to reduce your exposure. One way is by regulating conditions such as temperature, humidity and ventilation rate. As temperature and humidity conditions increase, the formaldehyde concentrations will increase. Increasing the ventilation rate will help reduce the formaldehyde concentrations.
Another way to reduce formaldehyde exposure is by considering alternative products used in your home or building, such as low formaldehyde or formaldehyde-free paints, insulations, flooring, cabinets etc.