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ATSDR Provides Information About Common Sources of Formaldehyde in Homes and Tips to Minimize Exposure Risks

EMSL Analytical offers air quality and material testing services to identify formaldehyde exposure risks and to help product manufactures comply with existing emission standards.

Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE

In 2011, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) listed formaldehyde as “known to be a human carcinogen.” Long before the NTP’s listing, many public health advocates had been raising concerns over exposure to this chemical that is used by the industry to make so many building materials, furnishings and consumer products.

To help the public understand sources of formaldehyde and potential risks in their own homes, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has provided information and tips on the public health agency’s website. ATSDR reports that while there are small amounts of formaldehyde in nearly all homes, levels are higher in homes with smokers because tobacco smoke contains formaldehyde. In some cases, this smoke may be the greatest source of formaldehyde in the home.

Another common situation discussed by the agency where elevated levels of the chemical will likely be present indoors is with new products or new home construction. This is due to the fact that various manufactured wood products can off-gas formaldehyde. New products listed by ATSDR that often contain high levels of formaldehyde include:

  • Some manufactured wood products such as cabinets, furniture, plywood, particleboard and laminate flooring.
  • Permanent press fabrics (like those used for curtains and drapes or on furniture).
  • Household products such as glues, paints, caulks, pesticides, cosmetics and detergents.

“Reducing exposure to formaldehyde in a home, school or office helps everyone, but is often especially beneficial for children, older adults and people with asthma and other breathing problems who are more likely to have a reaction,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Exposure to elevated levels frequently results in breathing issues and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat or skin. At EMSL, we offer air testing analysis of formaldehyde and many other volatile organic compounds. We also provide testing to manufacturers of products and building materials so they can assess how a material off-gasses and the impact on indoor air quality.”

EMSL has also recently sponsored an educational video about formaldehyde exposure concerns in homes that can be seen at:

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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