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Thousands of Phone Booths Taken Out of Service Due to Formaldehyde Exposure Concerns

EMSL Analytical provides material and air quality testing services to identify exposure risks to formaldehyde to protect the public and help manufactures comply with product off-gassing regulations.

Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE

This past October, multiple media outlets reported that a major international workspace sharing company that manages millions of square feet of office space was taking 1,600 phone booths out of service in locations in the United States and Canada. An additional 700 booths could also be added to this list at some time.

The reason behind this action was reported to be concerns over exposure to elevated levels of formaldehyde. The company is said to have become aware of a potential issue after a tenant complained of irritation and odors after using one of the enclosed booths.

Formaldehyde is a colorless chemical with a strong smell that is used in numerous building materials and to produce some household products. According to the National Cancer Institute, formaldehyde is used in pressed-wood products, such as particleboard, plywood and fiberboard; glues and adhesives; permanent-press fabrics; paper product coatings; and certain insulation materials.

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that exposure to formaldehyde can cause irritation of the skin, eyes, nose and throat, and that high levels of exposure may cause some types of cancers,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “To help safeguard the public, the EPA finalized a rule in 2016 to reduce formaldehyde exposure from certain wood products. The rule followed the Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products Act of 2010 which established emission standards for formaldehyde from composite wood products. The agency’s finalized rule went into effect on June 1st, 2018, requiring composite wood products that are sold, supplied, offered for sale, manufactured or imported in the United States to be labeled as TSCA (Toxic Substances Control Act) Title VI compliant.”

The scientists at EMSL Analytical, Inc. work to help manufacturers comply with the EPA’s rule and protect the public from formaldehyde exposure. They offer material and air quality testing for formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs). To learn more about this or other material, indoor air quality (IAQ) and environmental testing services, please visit, email  or call (800) 220-3675.

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 46 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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 Volatile Organic Compound

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