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IAQ Review - Formaldehyde in Homes
Wednesday, 10 October 2007

The Dangers of Formaldehyde in Buildings and Homes
Formaldehyde (HCHO) is considered a strong irritant and potent sensitizer. Inhalation of large amount of HCHO can cause severe irritation of the upper respiratory tract and death. Sources of formaldehyde in the home include building materials, pressed wood products (hardwood plywood wall paneling, particleboard, fiberboard) and furniture made with these pressed wood products. Urea-formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI). Combustion sources and environmental tobacco smoke. Durable press drapes, other textiles, and glues.

IEQ Review
October 9, 2007 The Dangers of Formaldehyde in Buildings and Homes   Volume 1 Issue 311  
HOME

The Dangers of Formaldehyde in Buildings and Homes
by Ed Ziegler, Pure Air Control Services

Formaldehyde:

Formaldehyde (HCHO) is considered a strong irritant and potent sensitizer. Inhalation of large amount of HCHO can cause severe irritation of the upper respiratory tract and death.

Data from human exposures indicate that exposure to large concentrations of HCHO gas may lead to pulmonary edema. Even HCHO gas present in the workroom at concentrations of 1 to 11 ppm can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation. Formaldehyde has the potential to cause cancer in humans.

Sources of formaldehyde in the home include building materials, pressed wood products (hardwood plywood wall paneling, particleboard, fiberboard) and furniture made with these pressed wood products. Urea-formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI). Combustion sources and environmental tobacco smoke. Durable press drapes, other textiles, and glues.

Health Effects:

Formaldehyde, a colorless, pungent-smelling gas, can cause watery eyes, burning sensations in the eyes and throat, nausea, and difficulty in breathing in some humans exposed at elevated levels (above 0.1 parts per million).

High concentrations may trigger attacks in people with asthma. There is evidence that some people can develop sensitivity to formaldehyde. It has also been shown to cause cancer in animals and may cause cancer in humans.  Health effects include eye, nose, and throat irritation; wheezing and coughing; fatigue; skin rash; severe allergic reactions. May cause cancer. May also cause other effects listed under "organic gases." 

Concentration levels:
 
Concentration
 
Symptoms
0.5 to 2 ppm
 
eyes, nose and throat irritation
3 to 5 ppm
 
tearing of the eyes
10 to 20 ppm
 
difficult breathing, nose and throat burning, cough, heavy tearing of the eyes
25 to 30 ppm
 
severe respiratory tract injury
100 ppm
 
immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH)  

 
Monitoring for Formaldehyde:

Indoor air quality is a very site-specific issue and should be monitored as such. Some factors affecting the frequency of monitoring and the types of testing employed are size, location, occupant characterization, activity level and categorization, and, of course, complaints logged.

Typical commercial space monitoring occurs monthly or quarterly, while residential monitoring may be done on a seasonal basis. Any real estate, commercial and or residential, that is being bought or sold should be evaluated. 
 
How can I measure Formaldehyde?
 
Vapor monitor badges, such as the Formaldehyde Screen Check (FOSC), have been used over 25 years by VA, Armed Forces, many health care facilities, and by some of the largest industrial corporations throughout the world as well as consumers
 
The Formaldehyde Screen Check (FOSC) monitoring benefits include:
 
·      Can be used to measure personal exposure or room exposure
·      Easy to use and inexpensive
·      Data validated for accuracy
·      Analyzed by a AIHA accredited lab
·      Meets OSHA accuracy Requirements
·      Patented product (badges)
·      Written report

Where can I purchase the Formaldehyde Screen Check (FOCS)?
The Formaldehyde Screen Check can be purchased at a number of distributors nationally such as Carrier Air Conditioning, Victors Distributors, Yandle-Witherspoon Supply or on-line at www.IndoorAirTest.com.  
Additional IAQ Screen Check products are available: Mold Screen Check, Fiberglass Screen Check, Dust Mite Screen Check, FAST Screen Check, RAPID Screen Check, and Allergen Screen Check among others.

Who Should Use Formaldehyde Screen Check (FOSC) ?
·      Real Estate Professionals
·      Insurance Claim Adjusters
·      Industrial Hygienists
·      Homeowners
·      HVAC Engineers
·      Building Managers
·      Facility Managers
·      Facility Operators
·      Architects
·      Government Officials
·      Engineers
·      County, City, and State Officials
·      Building Maintenance Supervisors
·      Test and Balance Professionals
·      Educators
·      School and Plant Operators
·      Hospital Engineers
·      Physicians

About the parent company:
 
Pure Air Control Services provides the following professional IAQ services on a national basis:
·      Pure Air Control Services - multidiscipline team providing forensic IEQ investigations of buildings and homes www.pureaircontrols.com 
·      Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab) - AIHA accredited microbiology laboratory  www.EDLab.org 
·      Building Health Check - economical home and building evaluations. Also provides franchise units www.buildinghealthcheck.com 
·      IAQ Screen Check Test Kits - do it your self screening of the indoor environment www.indoorairtest.com  
·      Building Remediation Sciences - performs remediation on buildings and homes (HVAC system cleaning, mold remediation, chamber cleaning) www.brsciences.com 
·      IAQ learning Institute - IAQ Training/Webinars -IAQ training of property management, facility management, risk management, facilities staff. 

The parent company, Pure Air Control Services (www.pureaircontrols.com), is a certified MBE 8(a) company and is a contractor for the federal U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Federal Supply schedule (#GSA-10F-0488R). The firm has over 500 million square feet of building/home diagnostics/remediation experience in over 10,000 buildings/homes and has analyzed over 100,000 environmental laboratory samples. In addition, the professional staff has served as expert witnesses in over 100 mold/IAQ-related cases. 
 
Pure Air Control Services state-of-the-art corporate headquarters is located at 4911 Creekside Dr, in Clearwater; Fl serves as distribution point for its IAQ services and products. With satellite offices in Houston, TX, Atlanta, GA, West Palm Beach, FL., Alexandria, VA., Los Angles, CA., the firm is prepared to service IAQ issues and concerns on a national basis. 
 
For more information, visit the company’s web site at www.pureaircontrols.com or contact Ed Ziegler, VP Business Development at 1-800-422-PURE (7873) ext 804
 


[PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION]

Webinar: Benefits of Screening IAQ Contaminants
                                                                   October 17, 2007           2pm-3pm
October 17, 2007 2pm-3pm
Your IEQ Hotline! Toll Free 800-422-7873
 Free Preliminary Phone Consultation Services Available. Call Now!
 Free Preliminary Phone Consultation Services Available. Call Now!
 
Employment Opportunities
 Now Hiring

Microbiologists/
Aerobiologists:
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Atlanta, GA

Houston, TX
 
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Atlanta, GA
 
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 Sales Representative:
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800-422-7873

IEQ Quiz of the Week
Dust Mites flourish in almost all environments with human occupancy because:
A) They feed on paper, paper by products and dust
B) They can't be removed by any building filtration system
C) They feed on human skin cells, shed by everyone
D) All of the above
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