Why you should check your home for formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a chemical usually found in some building materials and household products such as furniture. It is usually found in small quantities in nearly all households. Research shows that high levels of formaldehyde is found mostly in manufactured wood products such as cabinets, furniture, plywood, particleboard, and laminate flooring. Other components include permanent press fabrics (e.g. curtains and drapes), household products such as glues, paints, caulks, pesticides, cosmetics, and detergents. It is also found in gas stoves, open fireplaces, and outdoor air pollution.

When you have irritation or breathing problems or you perceive strong odours at home, test your home space for formaldehyde. Most people don’t have health problems associated with small amounts of formaldehyde in their homes. However, as the level of formaldehyde increases in homes, some people have breathing problems or irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, or skin. If the health situation deteriorates, it is wise to seek medical help.

For safety and health reasons, it is important to reduce the level of formaldehyde in the home by the following steps:

  • Allow fresh air and ventilation in the home every day unless you are concerned about theft or you have asthma caused by outdoor pollution or pollen. 
  • Make use of exhaust fans.
  • Ensure that the temperature and humidity inside your home is comfortably low.
  • Don’t allow smoking in the home.
  • When shopping, go for home furniture with low or no formaldehyde. Examples include furniture, wood cabinetry, or flooring made without urea-formaldehyde (UF) glues. Others are pressed-wood products that meet ultra-low emitting formaldehyde (ULEF) or no added formaldehyde (NAF) requirements. Also, products labeled “No VOC/Low VOC” (volatile organic compound)

To remove formaldehyde from furniture, wash permanent-press clothing and curtains before use. Before using new products, release the formaldehyde in them outside of your house first before installation. You should keep them out of your living space until you can no longer smell strong chemical odour.

Hog furniture is a one stop shop for high quality and health related furniture.

Akpo Patricia Uyeh

She is a multimedia freelance journalist/ Blogger, who works with Allure Vanguard presently. A well-versed journalist who has attended many conferences, workshops, and training. She is passionate about youth empowerment, women and children’s rights as well as journalism. She holds a Master’s degree in Regional Planning and Development from the University of Lagos, Akoka. 

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