Dangers of Formaldehyde in the Home

Formaldehyde is a colourless gas commonly found in low levels in indoor air.  If there is a high level of formaldehyde it can be detected by a strong smell.  Formaldehyde levels are typically higher indoors than outdoors.  You can significantly decrease indoor levels by letting in fresh outdoor air.

Sources and solutions for decreasing the level of formaldehyde inside your home:
• adhesives (ensure plenty of ventilation when installing carpets using glues or adhesives)
smoke (keep chimney clean and unblocked, and in good working condition)
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• tobacco smoke (avoid smoking indoors)
• finishes (ensure plenty of ventilation when doing major painting or varnishing projects)
• household products, such as wall paper, paper products, and cardboard products (purchase items that are low-emitting, or have plastic laminate or coating on all sides)
• manufactured wood products, such as particle board, medium-density fibreboard, hardwood laminate flooring, hardwood plywood paneling (use building products that have no or low-formaldehyde options if available, ask retailers or manufacturers for details)
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• vehicle exhaust (should avoid leaving vehicles idling or operating any gas-powered equipment in attached garages or near doors or windows)

The amount of formaldehyde released from off-gassing decreases over time.  However, for it to disappear completely, it can take months to years.

Formaldehyde is an irritant.  If you are exposed to high levels of the gas, it can cause burning sensations in your:
• eyes
• nose
• throat

If you have asthma, you may be more sensitive to formaldehyde.  Long-term exposure to moderate levels (lower than irritation causing), especially for children, may also be linked to breathing problems or increased allergic sensitivity.

When disaster strikes, there’s no resource more valuable than knowing who to call. For more information and quotes, speak with a Stutters Disaster Kleenup professional today!

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