We would not purposefully expose ourselves to harmful chemicals, but did you know that our homes often contain many of these potential chemical hazards without our knowledge? One of these chemicals is formaldehyde. How dangerous is it, and where you might find it in the home?
Is formaldehyde harmful? It is still not clear how much formaldehyde you would need to be exposed to for it to start to affect you physically. What we do know is that formaldehyde is a carcinogen known to cause cancer that can affect the upper throat. We are also aware that exposure to formaldehyde can cause other problems such as fatigue and respiratory issues. A word of caution is needed here, however, because many health concerns resulting from exposure to formaldehyde produce symptoms similar to numerous other ailments, so you should not automatically conclude that this is the reason for your illness.
What is formaldehyde used for in relation to the home? Formaldehyde is used in a surprising number of items that you would find in a home. It is used in certain kinds of glue, fuel-burning appliances, pressed lumber such as plywood and particleboard, and it is often used to treat textiles like sofas, cushions, and curtains, etc.
The good news is that many household goods are available that do not use formaldehyde so if you are concerned about having this in your home, you may want to research these items.