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Formaldehyde in Clothes, is it Cause for Health Concerns?


LA Testing provides formaldehyde and VOC testing services to ensure consumer products such as clothing, as well as indoor environments, are safe for building occupants.

Garden Grove, CA

Textile resins containing formaldehyde have been used in some clothing since the 1920s. The formaldehyde in the resins helps to make the clothing wrinkle and stain resistant, but these benefits may be outweighed by health concerns from the chemically sensitive.

Numerous fabrics are often treated with formaldehyde. These include clothing fabrics made of rayon, blended cotton, corduroy, some wools, synthetic blended polymers and many fabrics used for upholstery.

Formaldehyde in fabrics can cause allergic reactions for some people and several major international institutions have labeled formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen. The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a study in August to the Congressional Committees about formaldehyde in textiles. The report states, “The potential health risks associated with formaldehyde vary, depending largely on the means of exposure (e.g., inhalation or dermal contact), the concentration of the formaldehyde, and the duration of exposure. Inhaled formaldehyde may cause such effects as nausea, exacerbation of asthma, and cellular changes that may lead to the development of tumors.”

LA Testing, an affiliate of EMSL Analytical and a leading provider of consumer product and environmental testing services, provides complete formaldehyde testing services. “Most concerns associated with formaldehyde in clothing are due to allergic reactions to dermal contact,” reported Ben Sublasky, National Director of Client Services for LA Testing and EMSL Analytical. “Allergic contact dermatitis affects the immune system and produces reactions including rashes, itchy and dry skin. Irritant contact dermatitis causes similar symptoms, but does not affect the immune system. For people who suffer these conditions the easiest way to avoid them is to not wear clothing treated with formaldehyde. LA Testing can test any materials to determine if they contain formaldehyde.” he continued.

To view an educational video about formaldehyde dangers in the home please visit

To learn more about formaldehyde 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.


 Formaldehyde Clothes
 consumer products
 fabrics GAO carcinogen
 inhalation dermal
 allergic rashes immune

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