Back in 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a Toxicological Review of Formaldehyde-Inhalation Assessment for public viewing and comment. According to the EPA website, “Public comments received on the Toxicological Review within 90 days after the release of the FRN will be provided to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) independent scientific peer review committee for its consideration.”
Formaldehyde is a widely used chemical found in many products and common building materials such as plywood and insulation. Formaldehyde is also a by-product of combustion and other industrial processes.
Its volatility makes it a significant issue for human health. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen. The health effects associated with elevated levels of formaldehyde exposure have been closely studied in recent years and have brought to light the dangers from prolonged and repeated contact.
Major exposure risks associated with formaldehyde come from occupants inhaling contaminated air. Exposure to elevated levels of formaldehyde can trigger asthma attacks, nausea, watery eyes, headaches, and difficulty breathing as well as other health effects. The current “permissible exposure limits” (PELs) for formaldehyde in the workplace are 0.75 parts per million (ppm) as an 8 hour time-weighted average (TWA). This means that exposures for an eight hour work day should not exceed 0.75 ppm PEL.
“The draft EPA document on formaldehyde addresses the human health effects of chronic inhalation exposure,” reported Joe Frasca, senior vice president at LA Testing. “The WHO already labels formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen, and it is imperative that people’s exposure to this chemical be minimized to prevent a host of medical problems.”
LA Testing is a provider of formaldehyde and volatile organic compound (VOC) testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.