Formaldehyde in Your Home: What You Need to Know

Formaldehyde is a colorless gas with special pungent odor, which is easily soluble in water and ethanol. 

Formaldehyde is naturally present in nature, and it is also the most common and easy to exceed the standard of pollutants in interior decoration.

The formaldehyde in the household air mainly comes from indoor decoration materials, furniture, daily household consumer goods, etc. in addition, when smoking, burning fuel and cooking at home, formaldehyde will also be produced.


Can Formaldehyde Cause Leukaemia Really?

Formaldehyde does have the potential to induce leukemia, but this is mainly adult leukemia caused by occupational exposure, the so-called occupational diseases, such as the petroleum and shoe factory.

What Are the Other Harms of Formaldehyde?

  • Irritation

The main harm of formaldehyde is its irritating effect on the skin and mucosa. When inhaled in high concentration, it is easy to cause serious irritation of the respiratory tract, edema, eye irritation and headache.

  • Allergization

Direct skin contact with formaldehyde can cause allergic dermatitis, skin spots and necrosis. Inhalation of high concentration of formaldehyde can induce bronchial asthma.


  • Mutagenesis

High concentration formaldehyde is also a genotoxic substance. Experimental animals may cause nasopharyngeal tumors when inhaled at high concentration of formaldehyde in the laboratory.

  • Other Common Symptoms

Headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, chest tightness, sore eyes, sore throat, poor appetite, heart palpitations, insomnia, weight loss, memory loss, and autonomic nerve disorders.

Long-term inhalation of formaldehyde in pregnant women may lead to fetal malformation, even death. And long-term inhalation of formaldehyde in men can lead to sperm deformity and death.

What Materials at Home May Have Formaldehyde?

Artificial board: Plywood, joinery board, medium density fiberboard (MDF) and particleboard for interior decoration.

Adhesive: The adhesive used in the production of wood-based panels takes formaldehyde as the main component. The residual formaldehyde in the panels will gradually be released to the surrounding environment, which is the main force forming formaldehyde in the indoor air.

Decorative materials: Stick wall paper, stick wall cloth, chemical fiber carpet, paint, etc.


How to Effectively Remove Formaldehyde?

  • Ventilation

At present, the most effective way to remove formaldehyde is air circulation. Through the circulation of indoor air, the content of harmful substances in indoor air can be reduced, thus reducing the harm of such substances to human body.

However, although the air circulation method has low cost and good effect, it is very slow to take effect. Generally speaking, it takes at least 3 months to remove formaldehyde, and it may even take more than 3 years to achieve the best effect.

  • Activated Carbon Adsorption

Activated carbon is a kind of porous carbonaceous material with highly developed pore structure.

The porous structure of activated carbon provides it with a large surface area and can fully contact with gas (impurities), thus giving it unique adsorption performance and making it very easy to absorb and collect impurities.

Activated carbon is convenient to use, it can not only adsorption formaldehyde, but also will not produce secondary pollution, is a more practical method. Also, some air purifiers are equipped with the activated carbon filter which can effectively absorb formaldehyde.


  • Choose High-Quality Decoration Materials

During the decoration, it's necessary to use environmentally-friendly and safe decoration materials, avoid excessive decoration, and minimize the use of chemical glue and artificial plates in the decoration.

In addition, it's suggested to choose wallpaper made of natural fibers, buy environmentally-friendly and natural furniture, choose metal furniture to replace wooden furniture, use glassware to replace plastic products, and use natural fabrics to replace processed fabrics, so as to reduce the source of formaldehyde from the aspect of decoration materials.

  • Photocatalyst Removal

Photocatalyst is a general term of photosemiconductor materials with photocatalytic function represented by nano-sized titanium dioxide.

It mainly uses its chemical reaction to degrade harmful substances, so as to decompose pollutants and purify the air. However, the cost of photocatalyst is very expensive and its use is limited. Photocatalysts are catalysts that do not react on their own and must play its role in the presence of ultraviolet light.

  •  Formaldehyde Scavenger

The principle of formaldehyde scavenger is to temporarily block the pollution source and prevent formaldehyde volatilization in a short time, which makes it impossible to completely remove formaldehyde pollution.

Because formaldehyde pollution is persistent, it only forms a protective film in the outer layer of the pollution source, and the source of formaldehyde volatilization has not been solved. After the failure of this protective film, formaldehyde will still be released in large quantities to pollute indoor air.

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