“We thrive and survive on planet earth as a single human family. And one of our main responsibilities is to leave to successor generations a sustainable future.” - UN Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan

Aquinas College

Formaldehyde

Menu:
photo

Formaldehyde is the simplest aldehyde of all chemical compounds. Gas is its standard state and it has a strong, unpleasant odor. Formaldehyde is used by industry for a variety of applications, including preservatives, wood glue, perma-press clothing (or "wrinkle free"), wood products like plywood, and a myriad of others. The chemical compound can also be released with the combustion of natural gas, wood, kerosene, and cigarettes.

Common effects from minimal exposure to formaldehyde include watery and burning eyes, burning nose, nausea, coughing, and skin rashes. Overtime, however, formaldehyde is suspected to lead to cancer. Causality has been found between cancer and formaldehyde exposure in laboratory animals, however that causality has not yet been "proven" for humans (The National Cancer Institute).

Links

Eco-USA

Eco-USA is an outgrowth of a site called EcoIndiana that provides basic information about Indiana's Superfund sites, material on toxics, photos of animals and plants, natural area profiles, and a directory of environmental organizations. The site explains the basic facts, disposal, exposure pathways, health effects, and regulations related to formaldehyde.

Illinois Department of Public Health

The pamphlet compiled by the Illinois Department of Public Health provides answers to basic questions about formaldehyde. It explains what formaldehyde is, where it can be found, how it can affect your health, and what you can do to prevent or reduce exposure to it.

Funded by the Steelcase Foundation of Grand Rapids, Michigan
Header photo by Carol Y. Swinehart, courtesy of Michigan Sea Grant Extension
Site by CMC/GrandNet