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Formaldehyde and VOC Concerns in Baby Nurseries

EMSL Analytical provides indoor air quality (IAQ) testing services for formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOC).


Last week, California’s KVTU reported on concerns over off-gassing from products and furnishings in newborns’ nurseries. The article brought to light the use of volatile organic compounds, including formaldehyde, that are commonly found in furnishing and baby products used in nurseries.
According to the article, “When some parents bring their babies home for the first time, they may actually be harming their newborn children by exposing them to dangerous toxins that can be found in the furnishings of their brand new nurseries.” The article references recent test conducted in nurseries that have found dozens of VOCs present.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) reports that in 2006 the U.S. production of formaldehyde was at 10 billion pounds. This commonly used chemical is classified by the National Toxicological program’s (NTP) 12th Report on Carcinogens as being known to be a human carcinogen.
Formaldehyde is a colorless, pungent-smelling gas, that can cause watery eyes, burning sensations in the eyes and throat, nausea, and difficulty in breathing in some humans exposed at elevated levels (above 0.1 parts per million). High concentrations may trigger attacks in people who suffer from asthma. There is evidence that some people can develop sensitivities to formaldehyde.
“Reports of VOCs and formaldehyde in newborn nurseries are a concern for parents,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, a leading formaldehyde testing laboratory. “Some manufacturers now produce products with little or no off-gassing, but at this time it is buyer beware. EMSL can help test products and indoor air quality for parents, retailers, regulators and manufacturers to help determine what levels of VOCs and formaldehyde are present,” he continued.
EMSL has sponsored a video about the hazards associated with formaldehyde in indoor environments. It can be seen at:
For information about testing for formaldehyde or other IAQ testing services, please visit, email or call (800) 220-3675.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of quality environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies. 


 off gassing

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