What are the tips to reduce formaldehyde in your home immediately? Some precautions to reduce the level of formaldehyde in your home like reducing smoke, opening windows, avoiding adhesives, etc. You may have heard that formaldehyde can be an indoor air pollutant, so you’re wondering what you can do about it and if you need to be concerned about the health risks that come with exposure.
MDF stands for Medium-Density Fiberboard, a hardwood made of several layers of wood. Sometimes these boards include glue and formaldehyde. In this article, we’ll go over what formaldehyde is, how it affects your health, and share some tips on reducing it in your home today.
Tips to Reduce Formaldehyde In Your Home Immediately
Following are some tips to reduce formaldehyde in your home immediately.
1: Reduce cigarette smoke
If you smoke, it is essential to keep your habit under control. Smoke can produce formaldehyde which becomes a problem if the space has low ventilation levels. This includes smoking near the house because secondhand smoke can become a source of formaldehyde in your home when mixed with indoor air. Burning candles, incense, or wood also contribute to indoor levels of formaldehyde. In addition, some people are naturally more sensitive to this compound than others and have higher levels of exposure indoors, where there may be no indication that formaldehyde is present.
There are many ways to reduce cigarette smoke and create healthy air inside the home for those who live there; using an air purifier helps reduce and remove formaldehyde from the environment.
spray products containing methylene glycol may also contribute to elevated chemical levels indoors.
2: Clean fireplaces
Formaldehyde can also be found coming from fireplaces, walls, and floors. Clean your fireplace at least once a year, if not more often. Make sure you sweep, vacuum, or damp mop the floor to eliminate any excess formaldehyde before it emits into your home again. The walls should also be dusted frequently as they tend to collect formaldehyde over time. Dusting should happen once a week or more often, depending on how much dust accumulates on your furniture and other surfaces throughout the house.
3: Do not leave the car engine running in the garage
No matter what season, leaving your car engine running in your garage is not advisable. In the wintertime, a single burst of cold air could cause the system to malfunction, while freezing temperatures can make many components brittle and prone to breakage. In the summertime, hot exhaust emissions are vented directly into your home, contributing to smoggy conditions and worsening allergies.
Additionally, vehicle maintenance experts warn that high temperatures can dry rubber parts, leading to cracking and peeling. More importantly, for some people with smaller garages, excessive heat levels make it difficult for drivers to get out of their cars, making driving unbearable.
4: Reduce using certain beauty and household products
It’s easy to reduce the amount of formaldehyde you’re exposed to daily. Cosmetic products such as nail polish and some hair care products can start by lowering your beauty and household products containing this chemical. Avoid products with methylene glycol, formalin, quaternion 15, urea-formaldehyde resin, phenol formaldehyde resin, and paraformaldehyde). Products you should instead use include those made from natural sources like oils and waxes, as well as powders and lotions that are preservative-free.
5: Not to use composite wood
Formaldehyde is often found in wood, known as composite wood, which usually means a mixture of sawdust and resins or plastics. Plywood, pressed wood, particle board, and medium-density fiberboard (MDF). These products use glue containing formaldehyde and are commonly used in home construction and renovations to make ‘economy-grade’ furniture and cabinets.
Though this type of wood might be less expensive, it has been proven to release fumes from the material it’s made from, emitting up to four times the amount of formaldehyde than solid wood furniture, says the EPA. Rather than using composite wood for your furniture, use solid pieces not made with urea-formaldehyde foam insulation and avoid pressed-wood products such as fiberboard.
6: Permanent press clothing
Permanent press clothing is manufactured by machines that use heat and pressure. This process bonds the cellulose molecules to the point that they are less susceptible to wrinkles, stains, and overall wear-and-tear of clothing. The trade-off for this convenience is the chemicals in the polyester coating, which emit formaldehyde as a by-product when heated.
The solution for eliminating formaldehyde from your home is simple: buy air purifiers with carbon filters.
The federal Department of Environment Protection Agency released its findings on levels of indoor pollutants, which revealed that levels might be three times higher than outside levels because of furniture and home decorations such as carpeting, synthetic materials like drapery fabrics, and newly unboxed clothes that have not had time to off-gas their chemicals.
7: Sealed surfaces
Sealed surfaces, like hardwood floors, can trap and release formaldehyde into the air. If you have hardwood floors, use an acrylic sealant to keep them sealed up. You can find these sealants at most hardware stores.
It’s not only furniture that produces formaldehyde. It comes from other sources too! If you’ve had an oil-burning appliance inside your house at any point in the last few months, shut it off immediately because formaldehyde gas is leaking out of it. Replace or upgrade your water heater because it could produce dangerous levels of formaldehyde. And if you live in a newly constructed home, don’t be surprised if there are high levels of formaldehyde on the windows and doors–that’s another surface that traps and releases this chemical.
8: Use organic mattresses
This could mean switching to organic mattresses, and it may not. Organic mattresses can still release formaldehyde if the bed has been treated for off-gassing purposes. So if you want to go green and buy organic, look for a mattress that has undergone this process. Finally, make your bed each day before the sun is up or after the sun has set (even when using a clean sheet). Doing so will help prevent new dirt from adding to a dirty surface.
9: Choose organic and natural fabrics for upholstery and curtains
Organic materials will look great and are better for you and the environment because they don’t release many chemicals.
If you have curtains to replace, take a look at organic and natural fabrics for upholstery and curtains.
Regarding chemicals, some fabrics are known for their durability and strength, while others are more eco-friendly. When buying fabric, it is important to be mindful of how the material will affect your health and the environment around you. Choosing organic fabrics will give you peace of mind that your family is living in a safe space while also being conscious of protecting the Earth’s precious resources.
10: Buy an air purifier with carbon filters
If you live with high levels of formaldehyde, buying air purifiers with carbon filters is essential. This will help stop the release of the chemical into your home and ensure it is not coming in through your vents or windows. Plus, if you have any household items made of particleboard, such as cabinets, shelves, or desks, cover them with a high-quality sealant.
The tighter seal will block any remaining formaldehyde from leaking out. And for clothes drying outside on a clothesline during cool months: close your blinds and turn off your forced-air heating system so cold air doesn’t blow over wet clothing, causing condensation that could include the chemical inside our home once again.
11: Open windows
First and foremost, open windows to reduce exposure to formaldehyde and let your house ventilate while you’re away at work. If that’s not an option, buy an air purifier with a carbon filter to keep the fumes from accumulating indoors. Make sure the products are certified formaldehyde-free for furniture and floors made from MDF (medium-density fiberboard). It’s not worth skimping on safety to save a few bucks!
12: Ozone level
Ozone Levels can be tested to measure the amount of formaldehyde present. If you are concerned about high levels of formaldehyde and ozone, buy an air purifier with activated carbon filtration. Some ozone-producing products like photocopiers and laser printers emit formaldehyde when they use ozone as a cleaning agent. Opening your windows or running a ceiling fan will reduce the concentration of formal gene fumes by diluting the air. Air conditioners will only worsen the concentration level for the same reason, so if you need relief from hot temperatures, try opening a window instead!
You can also check out our other related article The negative side effects of air purifiers Complete Guide:
Sources of formaldehyde
Formaldehyde is a colorless gas that, at high levels of exposure, may irritate the respiratory tract, nasal passages, and throat. As a building product, formaldehyde is used as a bonding agent to produce particle boards and plywood. These materials are primarily found in furniture such as dressers and shelves. It can also be found in home textiles such as curtains and draperies. Air conditioners or refrigerators are sources of formaldehyde emissions; aerosol
1: Adhesives and bonding agents
Formaldehyde is found as an adhesive in building materials and many of the everyday household items we use every day, including our children’s toys. It can also be found in paints and building materials like particleboard, fiberboard, and plywood. You need to know that these formaldehyde products are more likely to give off higher levels of formaldehyde gas than others.
The worst culprits are high-end permanent press fabrics treated with strong resins (e.g., wrinkle-free clothes). These sources should be avoided as they often produce incredibly high formaldehyde emissions.
2: Home textile
Formaldehyde can be found in many materials at home, including carpets, shower curtains, and clothes. One way you can reduce the level of formaldehyde in your home is by reducing your exposure to other sources, for example, by taking showers instead of baths and buying non-formaldehyde-emitting carpets. When purchasing new furniture (MDF), try looking for products labeled low emission or ones where the manufacturer’s website states that they comply with California Phase II standards for volatile organic compounds emissions.
3: Paints and varnishes
Formaldehyde is also found in paints and varnishes. One way to reduce formaldehyde exposure from these products is by wearing a facemask or protective gloves when working with them. Other ways to avoid contact are to use paints, varnishes, and other surface treatments that are low or no VOC or to wait until the product dries before entering your home. It may also be worth considering painting rooms less often as this will reduce the potential of inhaling fumes while completing the task.
4: Wooden fireplaces and stoves
Do you have a wood-burning fireplace or use your stove to heat your home? If so, these items are likely the source of high levels of formaldehyde
5: Cigarette smoke
The primary source of formaldehyde in your home is cigarette smoke. You may not think it matters if you live outside the immediate area of secondhand smoke, but long-term exposure to tiny amounts is just as toxic.
Secondhand tobacco smoke has been classified as a human carcinogen by the US National Toxicology Program and IARC, which found that There is sufficient evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of inhaled tobacco smoke, particularly from cigarettes. This means secondhand tobacco smoke leads to an increased risk of cancer.
Effects of formaldehyde on health
Formaldehyde is a common household toxin that can lead to coughing, wheezing and respiratory problems. Pregnant women and children are particularly affected by the adverse effects of formaldehyde. The World Health Organization recommends that prolonged exposure not exceed 0.1 ppm – or three parts formaldehyde per million air. Higher levels can result in increased headaches, stomach discomfort, and lack of sleep.
2: Chronic obstructive
3: Pulmonary disorder
4: Eyes, nose, and throat irritation
Asthma is a condition that causes your airways (the passages where air travels into and out of your lungs) to narrow and become inflamed. This makes it difficult or even impossible for air to move in or out, resulting in feelings of tightness, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. Asthma also triggers an extra effort by your lungs to bring in more oxygen, known as shortness of breath. When you have asthma, it may feel like you’re suffocating.
In people with asthma, formaldehyde can cause inflammation of the airway passages because of its immune-reactive properties since formol, which is used in the formalin chemical process, breaks down into formaldehyde when inside your body.
2: Chronic obstructive
Contrary to its name, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is not permanently established, and it does not only affect the lungs. Over time, COPD gradually damages the lungs’ airways and muscles until breathing becomes difficult or impossible. As of 2007, COPD had become the third leading cause of death in America, with about 2 million people suffering from COPD at any given time.
poses serious health risks. Breathing formaldehyde at home can trigger asthma and other respiratory problems, headaches, nosebleeds, and increased cancer risk. Not only can it cause eye irritation or skin sensitization, but high levels of exposure can also lead to anemia, nausea, and severe pain in the chest. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets workplace limits for formalizing dehyde of fewer than 0.75 parts per million (ppm) averaged over an 8-hour shift.
4: Eyes, nose, and throat irritation
Formaldehyde is also used as a preservative in the following: medicine, cosmetics, colognes and perfumes, tobacco products, and dyes.
Symptoms of being overexposed to formaldehyde are irritation or inflammation of the skin. Eyes, nose, throat if you come into contact with this substance . . . symptoms include: eye and respiratory irritation, sore throat congestion, and vomiting.
Why is it Important to Reduce Formaldehyde in Your Home?
Formaldehyde is an irritant associated with chronic health problems like asthma. It’s found in various building materials, including carpets and foam insulation. The indoor air concentrations are often much higher than those outdoors, which could be dangerous if you have sensitivities to the chemical or if you live or work with someone who does. Reducing formaldehyde levels is as easy as buying carbon-filtered air purifiers to remove it from your home’s environment and sealing off any building materials that contain the chemical while they await disposal.
Is formaldehyde a VOC MDF?
Formaldehyde is not technically a VOC MDF because it has a heat of vaporization below the cut-off point for VOCs. However, formaldehyde can be measured in high concentrations in indoor environments (source). Indoor levels of formaldehyde have been documented at upwards of 17ppm, far above the 1ppm recommended by the World Health Organization (source).
This chemical compound can come from several sources, including pressed wood products such as particleboard and plywood, glues and adhesives, natural gas furnaces and leaks, tobacco smoke, and insulation materials like foams or coatings containing formaldehyde. The first step to reducing formaldehyde in your home is identifying where it’s coming from.
What are MDF and formaldehyde?
MDF stands for Medium-Density Fiberboard, a hardwood made of several layers of wood. Sometimes these boards include glue and formaldehyde. If you have furniture made out of MDF or formaldehyde-treated wood and it’s giving off an unpleasant smell, or you notice damage on your skin (burning sensation), remove it from your home as soon as possible.
Formaldehyde is an essential raw material for the chemical industry that produces many consumer products like building materials (sheetrock, flooring), textiles (carpets, draperies, furniture), and personal care products like shampoo, soaps, and hair dye.
Formaldehyde can emit from solid objects made from MDF such as clothing, shelving units, and other household items; because the emission rate depends on many factors such as humidity levels, temperature, and airflow.
Get the answers to the questions.
Is carpet a source of formaldehyde?
This can be tricky, and the answer depends on many factors. First, how long has the carpet been in the home? How often does it get vacuumed or otherwise deep cleaned? Was any treatment used on it that may have released formaldehyde into it, like Scotchguard or anti-mold treatments? Lastly, what type of carpet is it?
Does hairspray contain formaldehyde?
Chemicals such as formaldehyde and aerosol propellant can be found in all over-the-counter hairsprays. This formulation has been linked to increased headaches, nosebleeds, burning eyes, dizziness, and skin irritations.
Do low-VOC paints reduce formaldehyde?
While many paint suppliers tout their low-VOC paints and varnishes as the solution to formaldehyde, there is no regulatory measure to back up these claims. Low-VOC refers only to the level of VOCs emitted from a specific product.
However, certain paints advertise low levels of formaldehyde and are free from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as lead and mercury.
The most common sources of formaldehyde are wood products and off-gassing from clothing, so next time you’re out shopping, be aware of these items when considering which products to buy. Reducing the number of things that release formaldehyde in your home can keep your family healthier and reduce the number of toxins you’re exposed to. Reducing the use of chemical cleaners is also a great way to get started – instead, focus on using methods like boiling water or baking soda for tough stains.
Now that you know how to reduce formaldehyde levels at home quickly, you’ll hopefully start making changes today! Remember, many of the everyday household items we come into contact with emitting formaldehyde into our living spaces, but this doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to breathing it all in without taking action.
You can immediately switch out your furniture if possible; this will help prevent long-term exposure and give you a clean and eco-friendly, healthy lifestyle. Hope so, now you have all about how to get rid of formaldehyde. Stay safe and healthy.