Most people think of formaldehyde as some mysterious substance you find in beakers in a science lab or chemical plant. But the truth is, formaldehyde is in a shockingly high number of normal household items—items we all come in contact with on a daily basis.
Just check out this list of seemingly mundane, everyday products that increase your exposure to formaldehyde:
- New construction materials
- Certain insulation materials
- Synthetic wood and furniture
- Glues and adhesives
- Hair-straightening treatments
- Wrinkle-resistant clothes
- Laundry and dish detergent
- Bar soap and liquid body wash
- Some pet products
- Gas stoves
- And more!
That’s a lot, isn’t it? And we’re willing to bet you have at least a handful of these in your home right now.
But don’t panic. We aren’t trying to fear-monger here—we simply want to raise awareness of how much formaldehyde the average American is routinely exposed to.
The good news is that you can protect yourself and your family by taking some of these easy steps:
- Make sure your space is well ventilated (in other words, open the windows and circulate some air through your home regularly).
- Keep your home cool and dry to reduce formaldehyde emissions from furniture and synthetic wood.
- Check your product labels for formaldehyde and other harsh chemicals (like Quaternium-15, which is a preservative and surfactant used in many cosmetics, soaps, detergents, and industrial products—and is also known to release formaldehyde).
- Buy organic cleaning products and detergents when possible.
Furthermore, an indoor air specialist can help by testing your indoor air for formaldehyde. If your tests come back with high concentrations, they’ll advise you on a strategy to reduce formaldehyde levels in your home. Your strategy will be individualized based on your results and the layout of your space, but it will likely involve installing a specialized indoor air filtration system.
If you’re anywhere in New York City or Long Island—namely Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Nassau County, or Suffolk County—MoldXpertsNY is the name to know for formaldehyde testing. We’re here to promote a safe, healthful environment for you and your family. Call now to learn more!