Indoor Air Pollutant
Aldehydes are mainly found in indoor environments. Indoor concentrations are typically two to ten times higher than outdoor concentrations. There are many forms of aldehydes, formaldehyde being the form most commonly used in homes. The largest use of formaldehydes are in the production of polymeric materials; they are used in pressed wood products, glues and adhesives, permanent-press fabrics, and some insulation material.
Where does it come from?
Aldehydes are made by the oxidizing of primary alcohols. Aldehydes are organic chemical compounds that have a carbon atom attached to an oxygen atom along with a hydrogen atom. It will either be the first or last carbon atom in a chain of carbon atoms that form an organic molecule. They can be fabricated or found in natural substances such as the vanilla bean, cinnamon bark, or bitter almonds.
Why is it bad? Who is it bad for?
Formaldehydes have been linked to cancer within the nasal sinuses. Several different studies have found that people who use formaldehydes are at an increased risk of developing leukemia. One study came to the conclusion that workers exposed to formaldehydes have higher levels in chromosome changes in the white blood cells in their bone marrow. Smaller exposure can cause sore throats, coughing, scratchy eyes, and nosebleeds.
Treatments/ Preventatives/ Remedies
Over time formaldehyde levels will decrease own their own, but with an increase in temperature and humidity, the levels increase. There are many ways to prevent the buildup of formaldehydes: do not smoke, especially inside, try and open windows as frequently as possible to let fresh air flow throughout the house, keeping the temperature down will also help, along with spending as much time as possible outside. Treatments range from chemo all the way down to some fresh air. It all depends on the severity of the symptoms of exposure to formaldehydes.
Case Studies Done
The Toxicology Data Network performed a study on formaldehydes. They went through all the effects caused by human exposure. They also go through the signs and symptoms, case reports, and many other factors.
Video on Formaldehydes
Go to 10:30 on the video