What is Formaldehyde?
Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable gas (at room temperature) and has a strong odor. Exposure to formaldehyde may cause adverse health effects. With chronic formaldehyde exposure, constant exposure can lead to the development of all the effects of acute exposure but go far beyond them. Along with irritation of the nose, eyes, and throat, the respiratory system may be negatively impacted, leading to pain when attempting to breathe. If not treated in a timely manner, the exposure can lead to the creation of lesions in the respiratory system and cause damage to the lungs that may or may not be reversible. People with a formaldehyde allergy are also likely to develop severe skin rashes when coming into contact with the substance. The skin may appear burned, develop welts, or become dry and cracked, depending on the severity of the allergic reaction. Prompt attention to the reaction must take place in order to prevent the possibility of scarring. There is also some evidence that constant formaldehyde exposure increases the chances of developing certain forms of cancer. In particular, the incidence of lung and nose cancer appears to be significantly higher among people who regularly come in contact with formaldehyde. This has led many countries to establish guidelines that set a maximum amount of exposure on a daily basis. In some cases, formaldehyde exposure can lead to death. Professionals who make use of the substance as part of their work often wear protective clothing, including breathing masks, in order to safeguard against this possibility. Devices are used to monitor the indoor air quality in labs and other settings where formaldehyde is used regularly. When an unsafe level of formaldehyde emissions is found to be present, it is not unusual for the area to be vacated while the space is ventilated.
Advantages of using Air Health Global to perform your Assessment:
- Services are performed by a licensed professional.
- A licensed assessor will identify sources of hazards.
- Professional consultation is available after the assessment - up to 1 hour.
- No shipping hassles - the service provider handles everything.
- Multiple samples can be collected simultaneously.
- Referrals to other professionals, will be given, as needed, for your situation.
How can you be exposed to formaldehyde?
The primary way you can be exposed to formaldehyde is by breathing air containing off-gassed formaldehyde. Everyone is exposed to small amounts of formaldehyde in the air that has off-gassed from products, including composite wood products.