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New Carpet, Odors and Health Concerns over 4-Phenylcyclohexene & Formaldehyde

EMSL Analytical provides testing services to protect the public from formaldehyde and other potentially dangerous chemical hazards.


Cinnaminson, NJ, February 14, 2013
Homes and offices with recently installed new carpeting are usually easily identified by the “new carpeting” smell that is associated with the flooring. This smell is the result of various volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are emitted from new carpeting.
One chemical associated with carpeting that has come under increasing scrutiny over the years is 4-Phenylcyclohexene. 4-Phenylcyclohexene, also known as 4-PCH, is a by-product formed during the polymerization of some carpet backings. There have been some reports that exposure to very low levels of 4-PCH after new carpeting has been installed could result in health complaints from building occupants.
There have also been reports that 4-PCH and other volatile carpet compounds can react with ozone in indoor environments to produce formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling chemical that is used in the manufacturing process of numerous other building materials and even some household products. “Formaldehyde exposure can cause burning, watery eyes, irritation of the nose and throat, nausea, headaches, and difficulty in breathing in some humans exposed to elevated levels,” said Vincent M. Daliessio, CIH, Project Manager at EMSL Analytical, a leading indoor air quality (IAQ) and formaldehyde testing laboratory. “High concentrations may also trigger asthma attacks in people who suffer from the condition.”
The National Toxicology Program, an interagency program of the Department of Health and Human Services, named formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen in its 12th Report on Carcinogens. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, or IARC, also classifies formaldehyde as a human carcinogen. 
EMSL provides testing for formaldehyde and many other IAQ contaminants to help protect people from exposure to elevated levels of these chemicals. The company has sponsored a video about the hazards associated with formaldehyde in indoor environments, it can be seen at:
For more information about testing for formaldehyde or other indoor air quality
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, 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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