Skip to content

Where Does Formaldehyde Come From: Unveil The Truth

Are you seeking "where does formaldehyde come from?" and how it affects our health? That is the reason why we are here for you. Read now to get an answer.

IAQ Boost is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

The quest of “where does formaldehyde come from” is getting more and more common on many health forums these days. Especially if you are having respiratory problems, the importance arises in unveiling the facts of this query. 

This is a motivation for us to help you further comprehend this substance. Dive in with us to reach a thoughtful answer. 


What is Formaldehyde? 

Formaldehyde is a chemical substance made of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. All live entities – humans, animals, fish, plants, and even bacteria – naturally generate this substance which acts as a process of cell metabolism.

Thanks to its antibacterial and preservative properties, the compound is maybe the most recognized. Yet, this composite is utilized to create a broad variety of value-added items in chemistry. The compound belongs to one of the most excellent-understood and well-studied substances in commerce.  

Where Does Formaldehyde Come From? 

This chemical composite is an organic substance with the formula CH2O (HCHO). The “HCHO levels mg m3” shows a part of how it affects our health, especially in houses. These indoor formaldehyde air pollution levels need to reach as low as possible. 

The acceptable formaldehyde levels in homes are 10 mg/m3, as suggested by most health organizations’ standards, including ANSI and ASHRAE. 

In addition, the compound is a byproduct of the process of combustion. Thus, formaldehyde by products may be found in burning tobacco, wood, gasoline, kerosene, or natural gas. 

Exhaust fumes from cars are a popular source of formaldehyde in the air. Cigarette smoking in houses also belongs to one of the sources of formaldehyde in the home

Thanks to its chemical ingredients, the composite is utilized in producing solvents, bonding agents, and adhesives. This is why it is normally found in various goods, including: 

  • Foam insulation
  • Pressed-wood products (plywood, paneling, particleboard )
  • Wallpaper and paints
  • Some cosmetics 
  • Some synthetic materials (for instance: permanent press)
Burning wood can release formaldehyde
Burning wood can release formaldehyde

What Are The Health Impacts Of This Substance Exposure? 

According to CPSC U.S, there are 0.03 parts of formaldehyde per million parts of air (ppm). This means that this composite is commonly present outdoors and indoors at quite low levels. 

Also, this represents that most of us are in direct opposition to some quantity of the compound. If you aren’t sensitive to formaldehyde, you might never suffer any symptoms. 

Nevertheless, there are some special cases such as older people, young children, pregnant women, or those with respiratory problems, chronic conditions, bronchitis, and asthma. 

They will face certain trouble in breathing if they catch formaldehyde indoor air pollution, even a tiny amount of the compound.  

Some of the short-term symptoms of contact with the composite in a house may be mentioned:

  • Scratchy eyes
  • Cough
  • Headaches
  • Watery eyes
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Sore throat
  • Nosebleeds

People with COPD (standing for the chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder), asthma, or respiratory disease might have to suffer more serious conditions when contact with formaldehyde, even in a short time. 

Many researchers from The National Cancer Institute have discovered the key consequence of this compound. Particularly, exposure with the chemical composite in the long term might push at a higher risk of developing some kinds of cancer, particularly affecting the throat and nose. 

How Can You Lower Formaldehyde Levels In Your Home? 

The best resort to lessen the exposure or contact is to ward off items that contain the chemical compound and never permit smoke indoors. 

Use products that have been labeled as “low” or “no” formaldehyde. In addition, when buying pressed-wood items for your house, pick ones that are tagged as meeting the CARB-ACTM (abbreviation for California Air Resources Board Air Toxics Control Measure) or ANSI standards.  

If you must purchase some products containing formaldehyde, several ways to reduce the exposure consist of: 

Permit Items To Off-Gas

Slip the packaging off items and permit its gas to escape out before flowing into your home. Ask the store or manufacturer to leave these unsealed products in their store-room for several days before delivering the goods. 

Also, another option is to equip a floor where toxic chemicals have been off-gassed already. You might chew the method over. 

Permit Items To Off-Gas
Permit Items To Off-Gas

Ventilate The Home

Increasing the availability of pure air to lessen the level of the toxins of this chemical substance. This might be implemented by using fans, opening windows, or blowing in pure air via a key ventilation system. 

Control The Humidity And Heat

Reduce the humidity and temperature in the house via dehumidification and air conditioning. The chemical compound level increases with the humidity and air temperature.

In order to lessen the contact during the combustion of byproducts, consisting of carbon monoxide and formaldehyde, make sure these combustion resources are vented outdoors and properly maintained. And one more thing, bear in mind that do not smoke in the house.

Final Thoughts 

Where does formaldehyde come from? This question is not a knotty question for you anymore. We have taken you through the things you need to know about this chemical compound. 

Also, you have known more thoroughly about its effect on our health to take more consideration in using some products in your house wisely. Thank you, and hope to see you in the coming blogs soon. 


Featured on

Yahoo News