How to prevent from harmful formaldehyde in household?
02. 12. 2016 Novelties
Perhaps you suffer from a frequent cough, a headache or tearing your eyes. It can be a certain kind of allergy or the cause can lie in formaldehyde. This chemical substance is still the unknown for many people. For that reason we have come with a factual explanation what substance it is like and what its impact on human health is. Besides, we will advise you how to reduce formaldehyde to minimum in your household.
What is formaldehyde?
At first, facts. Formaldehyde is an aldehyde of formic acid. This colourless substance is ranged to the class of volatile organic substances with a huge occurrence in the atmosphere. Formaldehyde is characteristic of its pungent, suffocating odor. Its outdoor air concentration varies from 10 to 100 µg/m3 (it can be compared to the pollution of the city environment). In the indoor air its concentration is higher. The World Health Organization (WHO) established the highest level of its concentration in range from 60 to 600 µg/m3. This problem is dealt with Act No. 6/2003 Sb. that establishes the limits of an hour concentration of formaldehyde to 60 µg/m3.
What is so dangerous about formaldehyde for human health?
The WHO has classified this substance as a probable human carcinogen causing cancer. In 2004 formaldehyde has been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) into Group 1, which contains substances carcinogenic to humans. Formaldehyde gets into a human body by inhalation, which is by breathing and only 6 – 10% of the substance gets into a human body through skin. Formaldehyde causes irritation of the upper respiratory tract mucosa and eye conjunctivitis. People who are occurring in the room with a higher formaldehyde concentration have a feeling of drought in their mouth and nose, it makes them cough and causes a headache, tiredness, drowsiness, tearing and burning sensation in their eyes. In a long-term horrizon, our health is seriously threatened by concentration levels exceeded 100 µg/m3. Formaldehyde can be a cause of atopic eczema or chronic inflammation of the middle ear.
EU Formaldehyde Emission Standard E1 establishes a maximum content of formaldehyde below 8 mg/100 g for particle boards. We use material corresponding to the higher CARB standard whose limit is a maximum content only to 4 mg/100 g.”
Where does formaldehyde appear?
This theme is associated with schools and public buildings most frequently. However, the most burning issue concerning formaldehyde is its existence in ordinary households. Formaldehyde is contained in particle boards, colours, lacquers, glues. It leaks mostly from furniture and floors, but its content occurs in textilies and carpets as well. It can be found in clothes, cosmetics, detergents and even in some toys of poor quality. We absorb formaldehyde from such sources as exhaust gases, open fire (burning of coal and wood) or cigarette smoke are.
How to avoid (remove) formaldehyde?
PIf you do not want to have products with a huge content of formaldehyde at home, then you should read product labels carefully before you purchase such a product. Thus you can avoid those of poor quality. Such products usually have a noticeably low price. You also shoud pay a great attention to the choice of furniture which can be thanks to its large size a main source of formaldehyde leakage. As a leading furniture manufacturer, we place emphasis on health safety of our products. For that reason as the only producer in the Czech Republic we use above-standard quality material with the CARB certificate. Besides the material itself, we also operate with the most advanced technologies of SLIM-LIME banding. Due to this technology every edge of all our pieces of furniture is perfectly hermetically sealed and impermeable.
The basic European standard concerning formaldehyde concentration in particleboards is called E1and establishes the maximum formaldehyde concentration below 8mg/100 g of the particleboard. The already above mentioned CARB standard is the quality highest one which establishes the amount of formaldehyde below 4 mg. In Europe only a small number of manufacturers use this above-standard material. The CARB certification guarantees that only pure raw wood without any harmful recycled items (the term of the recycled item is understood to be crushed detritus of old furniture, lacquers and other waste that is contained just in particleboards classified with E2 standard and in a smaller amount in particleboards classified with E1 standard. Simply said, if you purchase the furniture classified with the CARB certificate, it will possess the lowest possible level of harmful formaldehyde.
A few pieces of advice for daily household running
Besides the furniture of the necessary quality, a regular and adequate airing the room is an alpha and omega of the good indoor environment. It seems like a banality however it is exactly the opposite. Hermetically sealed interiors (with perfectly tight windows and doors) cause a bad air circulation, which requires a correct way of airing.
Formaldehyde evaporates at higher temperatures and that is why overheatead rooms are not recommended. Minor assistants are some indoor houseplants such as ivy, philodendron, chrysanthemum and chlorophytum comosum that are able to remove toxins from the indoor environment.