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Formaldehyde Concerns: Testing, Options & Solutions

60 Minutes recently ran a segment on the health risks associated with laminate floors with high levels of formaldehyde. The report opened people’s eyes to what we’ve known for a long time–formaldehyde is a dangerous gas with potentially serious health risks. It turns out hundreds of thousands of Americans may be impacted, and news outlets have run with the story ever since. Read the entire 60 Minutes report on formaldehyde here.

For a summary of the findings and what’s happening now, check out the video below. And keep reading to learn more about formaldehyde, formaldehyde testing, how to get rid of it. Continue reading…

Protect Yourself from Formaldehyde Exposure with Air Treatment

Flowers with Poison Flask in MiddleWhile long known to be a harmful substance, formaldehyde was officially declared by the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) to be a known carcinogen on June 10th, 2011. Included in the 12th edition of the Report on Carcinogens, formaldehyde was noted to cause otherwise rare nasal, sinus, and throat cancers as well as myeloid leukemia. Formaldehyde had already been listed as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” in prior editions of the report since the 1980s; its updated status to “known carcinogen” was prompted by recent examinations of occupational and animal studies on the effects of prolonged exposure to the gas.

Formaldehyde, a colorless gas with many industrial applications, can be found in furniture glues, car exhaust, plywood and particle wood, building materials, cleaning products, cosmetic chemicals, and biological preservatives, among other places. It is also released during combustion and is therefore generally present in fireplaces, stoves and ovens, smog, and tobacco smoke. Traces of the chemical have been measured in food and drinking water, and our bodies naturally produce formaldehyde in small quantities.

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Resolve to Breathe Better Air This Year

New Year's Celebration and a ClockAs the year draws close, most of us are reflecting on the past year and assessing what we would like to change or improve in the upcoming year. Most of the time, these changes focus on ways to be healthier and improve your quality of life, like losing weight, quitting smoking, or going to the gym more often. Instead of making the same resolutions year after year, try something new for 2011—improving the quality of your indoor air!

According to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), indoor pollution levels can be two to five times higher than pollution levels outdoors. This increase in indoor pollution levels is even more shocking when you consider that Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time doors. The good thing about indoor air quality is that it is absolutely within your ability to dramatically improve it. Continue reading…

Protect Your Family from Formaldehyde Exposure

Formaldehyde can stem from wood products in your homeA 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.
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Healthy Indoor Air for America’s Homes

American Profile recently interviewed Michael Vogel, director of the Montana chapter of Healthy Indoor Air for American’s Homes. He has been offering indoor air quality advice for over 20 years.

Vogel points out that “Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote an article on the importance of fresh air and ventilation back in the 1800s” – but today, experts know much more about the risks of various pollutants. Continue reading…