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Indoor Air Quality Testing Services

Category Press Release
Publish Date 2/21/2023
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Identifying Formaldehyde Exposure Risks in the Built Environment
Introduction EMSL Analytical offers indoor air quality, industrial hygiene and material testing services to identify formaldehyde exposure risks and to help product manufacturers comply with existing emission standards.

Cinnaminson, New Jersey, February 21, 2023

Formaldehyde is a chemical widely used by industry to manufacture building materials and various household products. Its primary use is in the production of resins and as a chemical intermediate. Formaldehyde is also a by-product of combustion and certain other natural processes. This means in some circumstances, it could be present at elevated concentrations indoors.

As a gas, formaldehyde is colorless and has a strong odor. Exposure to high concentrations may trigger asthma attacks in some people with the condition. There is some evidence that people can develop a sensitivity to formaldehyde. Health effects could include eye, nose and throat irritation; wheezing and coughing; fatigue; and severe allergic reactions.

Sources of formaldehyde in the home include building materials, smoking, household products such as nail polish and permanent press fabrics, and from the use of un-vented, fuel-burning appliances, including gas stoves or kerosene space heaters. One of the most significant sources of formaldehyde in many homes and buildings comes from the off-gassing of pressed wood products made using adhesives that contain urea-formaldehyde resins. Formaldehyde can also be released from some types of insulation.

“As far back as 1987, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “In 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) determined that formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) also classifies formaldehyde as a human carcinogen. These are all reasons why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has a Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) for formaldehyde exposure in the workplace.”

Identifying exposure risks to formaldehyde and other chemicals from all types of indoor environments are the scientists at EMSL Analytical. They offer material, industrial hygiene and environmental testing services, along with all of the necessary sampling supplies. EMSL has even sponsored an educational video about formaldehyde in the indoor environment that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/aiLI3SGjiws 

To learn more about formaldehyde testing or other material, indoor air quality, industrial hygiene or environmental services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for formaldehyde, mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOCs, odors, radon, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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