Formaldehyde Confirmed by the National Academies as a Known Human Carcinogen
Formaldehyde is used in many industrial applications and to make a number of building materials and furnishings. Just last month, the National Research Council, a part of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, issued its assessment of formaldehyde’s ability to cause cancer. In the report, the council upheld the listing of formaldehyde as “known to be a human carcinogen” from the National Toxicology Program’s 12th Report on Carcinogens (RoC).
Prior to the National Academies’ assessment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported, “Formaldehyde is known to cause cancer. The cancer of greatest concern is cancer of the nose and throat…Exposure to formaldehyde might increase the chance of getting cancer even at levels too low to cause symptoms.”
Exposure to formaldehyde can occur in both occupational and non-occupational settings. Even in an office building environment, indoor air concentrations of 20 to 30 ppb of formaldehyde can be common when as little as 7 ppb may cause eye and respiratory irritation.
“Formaldehyde exposure and its acute and chronic health effects have undergone significant research in recent years,” said Vincent M. Daliessio, CIH, Project Manager at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Exposure can cause a myriad of health effects in people depending on the chemical’s concentration, length of time a person is exposed and their individual responses. To help prevent human exposure, EMSL offers air testing services and product off-gassing analysis. Testing results can provide building owners with critical indoor air quality information and manufacturers who utilize formaldehyde in their products with scientific results about material off-gassing.”
EMSL has sponsored a video about the hazards associated with formaldehyde in indoor environments that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/yD4pTC8GVpE.
For more information about testing for formaldehyde or other indoor air quality (IAQ) services, please visit www.EMSL.com, email info@EMSL.com or call (800) 220-3675.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality 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.
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