by Nick Gromicko
Formaldehyde is a colorless, pungent-smelling chemical widely used in industries that manufacture building materials and numerous household products. Thus, it may be present in substantial concentrations in indoor environments.
Where indoors may formaldehyde be found?
• pressed-wood products (such as hardwood plywood wall paneling, particle board and fiberboard), and furniture made with these pressed-wood products. Mobile homes are especially at risk for indoor formaldehyde pollution because of their abundance of composite wood in construction, and relatively compact interior space;
• carpet backing and urea-formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI). In the 1970s, many homes were insulated with UFFI as an energy-conservation measure before it was discovered that UFFI contained dangerously high levels of formaldehyde. Fortunately, formaldehyde emissions in this product decline over time, so older houses with UFFI are unlikely to have high levels of formaldehyde now. This insulation is not very common in modern housing;
• tobacco smoke;
• durable-press drapes and other textiles;
• un-vented, fuel-burning appliances, such gas stoves and kerosene space heaters; and
Is it dangerous?
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