Formaldehyde in your home is a problem that you must address if you wish to live a natural and healthy lifestyle.
It is a colorless gas with a strong pungent odor common in many household products, particularly bedroom furniture.
Because it is so common you have to make a conscious effort to identify the sources and choose non formaldehyde replacements.
The chemical is classed as a Volatile Organic Compound (VOC).
It is normally used as an adhesive or bonding agent and the chemical is released into the air through a process known as "off-gassing."
Formaldehyde's other use is to preserve dead bodies. It works by killing fungus, bacteria and parasites. Unfortunately exposure while we are alive does not preserve us, it makes us sick, as formadehyde is an eye, skin and respiratory irritant.
Acute formaldehyde exposure can result in a variety of symptoms ranging from:
The long term effects are unknown but there is lot of speculation that the prognosis is not good. Empirical evidence and common sense suggests this is the case. Studies have been done on people who live in mobile homes, places with high levels of formaldehyde. Invariably they have higher rates of sickness.
Formaldehyde is in so many products in your home that it may make your mind boggle. This is not at all an exhaustive list:
There are ways you can reduce your exposure to formaldehyde. It may take a bit of effort but it is worth it for the health of your and your family.
Choose natural products without formaldehyde. Because people have become so aware of formaldehyde amongst other chemicals in household products a growing market of natural and organic replacements has emerged. Often for only a slightly higher cost you can get a healthier and eco friendly version.
Increase ventilation. The more fresh air you can get in from outside the better. The more you are exchanging the air in your home means the more toxins are flowing out and not get stuck inside where you can breathe it.
Keep the temperature and humidity down. The higher the temperature and humidity the more formaldehyde off gasses. By keeping the temperature down you keep the levels lower.
Vapor seal built in cabinets. Somethings in the home you cannot easily replace like built in furniture and cabinets. It is possible to get a non toxic seal that will prevent any gases from escaping.