Formaldehyde is a volatile organic compound (VOC) that is routinely analyzed in air quality assessments because it can be emitted from a variety of sources and can pose serious health concerns. Formaldehyde is formed primarily by combustion of organic materials (e.g. forest fire) and by different anthropogenic activities, such as automotive and industrial. Formaldehyde is widely used as an intermediate in industrial manufacturing, preservative, sterilizing agent. Exposure to formaldehyde in residential homes can be reduced by avoiding smoking indoors, ensuring proper functioning of fireplaces, not idling cars near doors or windows, selecting products with low formaldehyde content, and maintaining good ventilation and relative humidity below 50%.
CASSEN Testing Laboratories routinely conducts formaldehyde testing and provides sampling media for both active and passive sampling of formaldehyde. CASSEN also participates in the U.K.’s Workplace Analysis Scheme for Proficiency (WASP) program where we have ranked as high as #1 in Formaldehyde Testing in Canada, and internationally.
Formaldehyde is classified as a known human carcinogen associated with nasal sinus cancer by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) based on long-term exposure studies. Short-term exposure to formaldehyde by inhalation can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, throat, difficulty breathing, and can trigger or aggravate asthma symptoms. Formaldehyde is soluble in water and highly reactive, so it is absorbed by the mucous membranes of the eyes and respiratory tract and causes irritation.