Formaldehyde testing in your home is something most people have never even heard of, much less know anything about. Surprisingly, formaldehyde is one of the most important air quality levels that you should be aware of in your home.
Formaldehyde is a colorless gas with an odor that is quite distinctive in large concentrations. If you’ve ever purchased a new piece of particle-board furniture, you will quickly recall the smell of formaldehyde.
At lower levels, safe amounts of formaldehyde are quite literally all around us. Formaldehyde is produced by our own bodies as part of our natural metabolic process. It is also produced by the foods we eat, including everything from fruits such as grapes, bananas and apples, vegetables such as tomatoes, onions and cauliflower, as well as beef, poultry and seafood.
At higher levels, formaldehyde is toxic. The National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organization all state that exposure to high levels of formaldehyde increases the chance of developing certain cancers such as myeloid leukemia and nasopharyngeal cancer.
Formaldehyde is increased to toxic levels when we are exposed to high levels in our daily lives. Cigarettes and e-cigarettes are sources that you may be familiar with, but there are many others. Formaldehyde is used in home decor and clothing fabric, many types of furniture, as well as paints, glues and paper products. When formaldehyde is dissolved in water it is called formalin. Formalin can be found in some cleaning, personal care and beauty products.
Professional formaldehyde testing is important because toxic levels can cause health problems for you and your family. The most common health problems are irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, breathing problems, skin irritation, coughing and nausea. Chronic toxic exposure can also cause central nervous system issues such as difficulty sleeping, memory problems, irritability and difficulty concentrating.
People who are at the highest risk of toxic levels of formaldehyde exposure are people who work in industries in which formaldehyde is used such as construction workers, people who are employed in factories that manufacture products made with formaldehyde, and hair stylists who work with hair dyes and chemical straighteners.
Formaldehyde testing in your home helps to provide important air quality insight for every family, even if you don’t work in an at-risk industry. Newly constructed homes tend to have higher levels of formaldehyde due to the large amounts of building material releasing formaldehyde constantly into the air. This is called out-gassing. Existing homes are still at risk because out-gassing can last for years.
Professional formaldehyde testing takes only a few minutes per room. If high levels of formaldehyde are found in your home, your air quality tech will be able to make some recommendations. These recommendations can include not smoking in your home, opening your windows a few times a week to let in fresh air and keeping your home’s temperature and humidity at proper levels.
By choosing to have your home professionally tested for formaldehyde, you’re taking an important step in making sure your family’s health is the best that it can be.
For a consultation and to schedule an appointment contact us today at 772-212-1352