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Facts about Formaldehyde

First of all, formaldehyde is a chemical widely used in our modern world. It is found in car exhaust gases and in many products we face daily. It is produced through catalytic oxidation of methanol. This substance, in its original form is a gas, even though it may be modified and combined with other chemicals in order to become either in liquid or in solid form. This gas is also present in forest fires, tobacco smoke and other, and commonly seen gasses.

Usage of Formaldehyde

This chemical is crucial in the wood industry, since it is one of the main ingredients in the production of pressed wood. Apart from that, formaldehyde is one of the basic ingredients of many chemical products including glue, dye, plastic, paint etc. Also, it is found in cosmetic products like shampoos, detergents and other, similar items from mouthwashes all the way to carpet cleaners. All in all, formaldehyde is everywhere, more or less. Taking this into consideration, constant use of this chemical has led to its presence in the air we breathe, even the atmosphere itself. Although we cannot be influenced by this gas found in our air, since the levels of it are simply too low, people who work in factories dealing with formaldehyde can easily inhale larger quantities of this gas, potentially risking their health.

Negative Sides of Formaldehyde Exposure

You can get this gas inside your organism either by breathing it in along with the air, or by absorbing it through your skin. Both ways, too much formaldehyde in your system may cause you numerous health problems, some more serious than the others. It affects moist body tissues, as well as our skin, eyes, mouth and respiratory system.

Its effect on a person varies from one individual to another. Logically, people with stronger immune systems will be less affected. Firstly, upon minor exposure to formaldehyde, comes irritation of the eyes, respiratory organs, and skin. Next, once exposed to slightly larger concentrations, you may cough, feel burning in your eyes and skin and suffer from some similar hardships. Finally, inhaling large concentrations of formaldehyde may lead to chest pain, heart and problems and, eventually, death.

Alternatively, long-term exposures to this chemical can lead to numerous health complications which can develop in the long run as well. Therefore, those whose line of work involves formaldehyde exposure may develop cancer, malignant cells appearing in their bodies etc. Moreover, some people may be allergic and develop instant reactions when in contact with this chemical, needing immediate medical assistance. All in all, formaldehyde is dangerous, so be careful whenever near it.


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