Formaldehyde: what it is and where it is found

Formaldehyde: what it is and where it is found

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There formaldehyde it is an essential chemical element for the production of hundreds of items that we all have the habit of handling, every day, and that can actually improve daily life. However, no formaldehyde residues generally remain in the "final" products.

But where is formaldehyde found?

Formaldehyde in construction

Let's start by remembering that the formaldehyde-based resins have long been used for the production of composite wood products, widely used for cabinet making, worktops, furniture, shelving, stair systems, floors, wall cladding, beams and much more. The glues that use formaldehyde as a building element are exceptional binders, capable of providing high quality performance at extremely economical conditions. The wood products industry also uses formaldehyde-based resins in a wide range of panels, enabling sustainable use of forest resources and minimizing waste.

Formaldehyde in healthcare applications

Formaldehyde also has a long history of safe and effective use in vaccine production, anti-infective drugs and more. Formaldehyde has, for example, been used to inactivate viruses so that they do not cause various diseases, such as the flu virus in the production of the flu vaccine.

Formaldehyde in personal care and consumer products

The chemical elements Formaldehyde-based products are essential in the production of many consumer and personal care items. These products may contain ingredients that release agents capable of acting as preservatives, which can kill microorganisms and prevent the growth of bacteria and other pathogens, thereby extending the shelf life of the product.

Formaldehyde in cars

There formaldehyde helps make vehicles lighter and more energy efficient. Formaldehyde-based resins are in fact used to make molded internal components that must withstand high temperatures. These resins are also used in the production of highly resistant primers, clear paints, adhesives, brake pads and fuel system components.

Is formaldehyde safe?

Including what are some of the most frequent uses of formaldehyde, One may naturally wonder whether formaldehyde is safe or not.

Let's start by specifying that this element is a natural substance produced by every living organism, and therefore it is naturally present in a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, coffee and alcoholic beverages. Formaldehyde is also produced in the human body as part of normal functions to build the raw materials needed for important life processes.

Clinical studies also show that formaldehyde does not accumulate in people or animals because it is rapidly broken down by the body's natural metabolic processes. In the environment, formaldehyde is rapidly broken down in the air by humidity and sunlight, or by bacteria in the soil or water.

We also specify that the formaldehyde is nowadays a widely regulated material internationally, and that the rules on its use are sufficiently strict to effectively protect human health and the environment, regulating the requirements of the activities that allow the production, storage, handling and the safe use of this material.

Does exposure to formaldehyde cause cancer?

Some believe that exposure to formaldehyde can help cancerous diseases. In fact, it is well known in the scientific literature that any potential association between inhaled formaldehyde and cancer is linked only to significant and prolonged formaldehyde exposures. Based on the most recent scientific studies, it is therefore unlikely that inhaled formaldehyde will be able to trigger in the body the mechanisms necessary to cause blood cancer, such as a form of leukemia, because inhaled formaldehyde does not pass the nasal tissues (here it is rapidly metabolized) to reach the bone marrow where blood diseases originate.

Is there a link between formaldehyde and asthma?

Again, some reassurance is useful. Numerous studies have in fact concluded that the scientific evidence currently available does not support an association between exposure to formaldehyde and theasthma. The World Health Organization therefore concluded that there is no evidence indicating greater sensitivity to sensory irritation to formaldehyde among asthmatics.

To learn more, we naturally recommend that you contact your referring doctor, to whom you can share any doubts and questions about the characteristics of formaldehyde exposure.

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