A recent article in the CNN series, Toxic America, discussed five hazardous substances that most people unknowingly encounter on a daily basis. Among those substances was formaldehyde, which is particularly harmful to your indoor air quality. A colorless gas with a pungent smell, formaldehyde is a known carcinogen that can cause cancers of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts as well as nausea, skin irritation, watery eyes, and burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat.
We are often exposed to formaldehyde as a result of breathing the volatile compounds that are released from products that contain it. Unfortunately, formaldehyde exposure is an ever-present threat in most homes. The toxic substance is commonly found in resins that are used as glue during the manufacturing of pressed wood products, such as particle board, plywood, paneling, and fiberboard. It can also be found in glues and other adhesives, durable-press fabrics like drapes, car exhaust, and cigarette smoke.