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The Dangers of Formaldehyde

Most people know that formaldehyde is used in liquid form to embalm bodies. But formaldehyde in building supplies came to attention on the national scene in 2007 when high levels of it were found in the temporary housing units that FEMA had set up for Hurricane Katrina victims, causing illness. Formaldehyde exposure through inhalation can cause dizziness, mucus membrane irritation including runny nose, dry mouth, sore throat, eye infections, bronchitis and other associated mucus membrane issues. Formaldehyde can cause inflammatory responses in the respiratory system including asthma attacks. It can also cause headaches, fatigue and disturbed sleep. Long-term exposure is known to cause cancer. Formaldehyde can form as a result of many things and is a major component of smog. It’s in cigarette smoke and can be in your home if you use certain wood-burning stoves. If you breathe, it’s kinda hard to avoid all traces of formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is given off by build materials used to make walls, cabinets, furniture and other household goods according to the CDC. Formaldehyde elimination is a major component of some green building programs.

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