The quality of the air we breathe in our home is always a concern, as its a place we want to feel relaxed and safe in. Depending on the cause, bad air quality can result in possible health issues, sometimes serious ones.

One risk is the chemical formaldehyde. This is a chemical that we may only think of as being used in a science lab, but it is commonly used certain types of building materials as well as household items.

Where is formaldehyde found?

Formaldehyde can be found in a lot of pressed lumber like plywood or particleboard. If there is tobacco smoke in your home, this can also be a source. It can also be emitted from certain textiles, fuel-burning appliances, or glues.  Since formaldehyde is not visible you will only notice it by a strong pungent smell. The smell, however, is not the only thing to worry about with this chemical

Are there health risks?

Yes, some signs that you are affected by formaldehyde are; watery eyes, respiratory problems, fatigue, or other allergic reactions. The most notable danger that can come from formaldehyde is cancer, usually upper throat cancer. While the connection between the level and the amount of time exposed is not clearly known at the moment, the fact that it is a carcinogen is an undeniable fact.

For information on alternatives to materials that use formaldehyde, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at La Duca Home Inspections.