Formaldehyde in Air and Consumer Products

Formaldehyde is a colorless gas at room temperature. It sometimes has a noticeable smell.

Formaldehyde is classified as a volatile organic compound (VOC). It is a chemical substance that is found in many materials and products in the home and workplace. Other names for formaldehyde are methylene oxide, oxomethane, and methylaldehyde.

Health Effects of Exposure to Formaldehyde

Exposure to formaldehyde in the air can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. It can also cause symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, and dizziness. Since there can be other causes for at least some of these symptoms and signs, you may first want to speak with your health care provider before taking further steps.

Formaldehyde has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen.

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