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Formaldehyde Levels Found to be High in New Homes


EMSL Analytical provides formaldehyde information and testing solutions.

Westmont, NJ

A report listed on the website of the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Resources Board raises concerns about the indoor air quality (IAQ) in new homes. The report, “Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality in New Homes” investigated 108 new single story homes that were monitored in a multi-season study.

The results of the research showed the median 24 hour outdoor exchange rate was .26 air exchanges per hour. The California building code requires .35 air exchanges per hour. In these new homes the median formaldehyde levels taken from the indoor air was 36 micrograms per cubic meter. Almost all the homes had levels of formaldehyde that exceeded guidelines for cancer and chronic irritation.

In recent years the health effects associated with formaldehyde exposure have brought to light the dangers from prolonged and repeated contact. The major exposure risks associated with formaldehyde come from occupants inhaling contaminated air. Exposure to elevated levels of formaldehyde can trigger asthma attacks, nausea, watery eyes and difficulty breathing.

Formaldehyde has been shown to cause cancer in animals and according to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) formaldehyde may reasonably be anticipated to be a carcinogen. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies formaldehyde as a carcinogen.

The list of formaldehyde containing substances is extensive and involves everything from plywood and particle board to insulation, cleaners, carpeting and furniture. EMSL Analytical, one of the nation’s premier formaldehyde testing laboratories with over 30 testing facilities across the United States and Canada, has been providing formaldehyde and VOC testing services for years.

“The risks associated with formaldehyde and other off-gassing from VOCs is a real health concern,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President for EMSL Analytical. “ESML has an online video that demonstrates formaldehyde sampling techniques at and has made available a formaldehyde brochure that can be downloaded at,” Frasca continued.

To learn more about formaldehyde testing or other testing needs please visit, email or call (800) 220-3675.

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of consumer product, environmental, industrial hygiene, food 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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 new homes aldehydes
 Indoor air quality
 cancer chronic irratation
 asthma attacks nausea

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