Formaldehyde is an important chemical used widely by industry to manufacture building materials and numerous household products. It is also a by-product of combustion and certain other natural processes. Thus, it may be present in substantial concentrations both indoors and outdoors. Formaldehyde can cause irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat. High levels of exposure may cause some types of cancers.
See: EPA's Indoor Air Quality website
You may also want to view the following resources:
- EPA's Formaldehyde Web Site
- Formaldehyde Hazard Summary (5 pp, 92 KB, About PDF)
- National Cancer Institute: Fact Sheet: Formaldehyde and Cancer Risk
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's Public Health Statement for Formaldehyde
- Consumer Product Safety Commission: An Update On Formaldehyde (12 pp, 258 KB, About PDF)
For questions, you can contact your indoor air quality state and regional contact. Each regional office contains documentation and statistics on environmental issues in the states they have jurisdiction over.