Formaldehyde is used in a wide range of products found around the home and has been proven to cause respiratory problems, irritation to eyes and skin, and in extreme cases has been shown to cause cancer.
But despite these serious shortcomings, formaldehyde continues to be widely used because it cannot be easily replaced. Without the use of formaldehyde the performance of many consumer and industrial products would be negatively impacted. But where is formaldehyde found?
Furniture and flooring
Formaldehyde-based resins have excellent bonding qualities and are used to manufacture composite products that are used to make MDF furniture countertops, mouldings, shelving, staircases, flooring, carpets and many other household furnishings.
Personal cleansing products
Many personal cleansing and beauty products contain formaldehyde, such as shampoos, sun block, soap bars, cosmetics, body wash, toothpaste, baby wipes and bubble bath. Check on the labels before using these products to ensure they are formaldehyde-free.
Rather than improving the air we breathe, air fresheners and plug-in fragrance dispensers are reported to be a contributing source of formaldehyde in the home. Some essential oils and paper towels are also reported to contain formaldehyde.
Some studies report that e-cigarettes produce higher levels of formaldehyde than normal cigarettes although currently this is a highly contested issue.