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Prop 65 Puts Acetaldehyde under the Spotlight


LA Testing provides analytical services to protect the public and help businesses comply with California’s Proposition 65.

Garden Grove, CA

In 1986, California voters approved an initiative to address increasing concerns about exposure to toxic chemicals. That initiative, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, is better known by its original name of Proposition 65.

Proposition 65 requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the products they purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment. This list includes acetaldehyde, which is a colorless, flammable liquid, volatile at ambient temperature and pressure, with an irritating odor.

Acetaldehyde is used in a wide variety of chemical reactions. The commercial uses of acetaldehyde include the manufacture of acetic acid, acetic anhydride, pyridines, peracetic acid, penteerthritol, ethyl acetate, alkylamines, lactic acid and crotonaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is also known by a variety of synonyms which include acetic aldehyde, ethanol, ethyl aldehyde and methyl formaldehyde.

“Concentrations of acetaldehyde are often higher in indoor environments than outdoors,” reported Ben Sublasky, National Director of Client Services for LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, a leading environmental testing laboratory. “According to the California Environmental Protection Agency, emissions of acetaldehyde in indoor environments can come from cooking certain foods and can also be emitted from some building materials such as rigid polyurethane foams, and some consumer products such as adhesives, coatings, lubricants, inks and nail polish remover. Other potential sources of indoor acetaldehyde concentrations are the infiltration of vehicle exhaust,” he continued.

Acetaldehyde is a reactive molecule that binds to proteins and other blood components while in the bloodstream. Acetaldehyde has been shown to cause a number of genotoxic effects in cell cultures and in vitro assays. It can cause health problems when exposed to people’s eyes and skin or if it is ingested or inhaled.

LA Testing provides environmental and Reference Exposure Level (REL) testing services for this potentially harmful chemical. To learn more about Proposition 65 testing services please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794.

About LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.
LA Testing and EMSL Analytical are providers of environmental testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The companies have an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


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