There are many products and furniture pieces commonly found in homes that naturally emit formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a toxic air contaminant that poses a carcinogenic risk when present in the home at specific concentrations for an extended length of time. Depending on your sensitivity, formaldehyde can produce unpleasant symptoms.
As a common indoor air pollutant, there are several potential sources of formaldehyde you can find in your home. Keep reading to learn how formaldehyde impacts your indoor air quality.
How Does Formaldehyde Impact Indoor Air Quality?
There are several common sources of formaldehyde found in homes that negatively impact indoor air quality. When formaldehyde reaches high enough concentrations, this causes irritating symptoms that only worsen with continued exposure, including:
- Skin irritation
- Irritation of eyes, nose, and throat
- Difficulty sleeping
To stay healthy and avoid breathing in poor quality air, it is important to monitor the concentration of air pollutants like formaldehyde. This is especially true if you or someone you know has preexisting respiratory problems or is sensitive to poor air quality. The first step to improving your indoor air quality is identifying the source of formaldehyde in your home.
What are Common Sources of Formaldehyde?
The accumulation of formaldehyde in your home leads to poor indoor air quality. Finding the source of formaldehyde in your home enables you to lower the concentration of formaldehyde and allows you to breathe cleaner air. Some common sources of formaldehyde you can find in your home include:
- Building materials and furniture
- Combustion activities (i.e. cooking)
- Personal care products
Although some of these sources of formaldehyde are difficult to mitigate, choosing personal care products that do not release formaldehyde is an effective way to lower formaldehyde concentrations in your home. These personal care products include soaps, shampoos, and other cosmetics that you use for daily hygiene. Switching from a gas stove to an electric stove can also reduce the amount of formaldehyde released when cooking.
Based on a large body of formaldehyde literature, 0.1 ppm is an acceptable level for indoors and anything exceeding .1 ppm is increasingly dangerous to your health.
To determine the quantity of formaldehyde released from these sources, you can use air quality tests. We offer free air quality tests to give you a full picture of your home’s air quality. For a more proactive approach, you can also invest in an air purifier to filter out formaldehyde and other air pollutants in your home.