We live in a world full of polluting substances that can create havoc on our health. Formaldehyde is one of these substances, and while it’s not very harmful to us directly, it has a lot of indirect effects.
Formaldehyde is a common ingredient in many household products, including wood and other construction materials, permanent-press fabrics, paper towel products, and personal care products.
What Are the Health Symptoms Associated with Formaldehyde?
As we know, formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling chemical used to manufacture building materials. Many Lab tests show that people with high formaldehyde concentrations can suffer from nose and throat irritation; wheezing and chest tightness; eye, nose, throat irritation; coughing; nausea.
Furthermore, formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen that can cause leukemia and other cancers like throat cancer. The most common health effects of formaldehyde exposure are nose and throat irritation, wheezing and chest tightness, eye, nose, and throat irritation; coughing; nausea.
8 Ways on How to Remove Formaldehyde from Home
Formaldehyde is an organic compound that is used in many industries and products. The potential sources of formaldehyde are paints, adhesives, resins, plywood, some plastics, paper, glues, cosmetics, and disinfectants.
Formaldehyde can be found in the air inside the home, offices, and other buildings. It can also be released from some medical equipment. Formaldehyde has been linked to several health problems. Fortunately, there are many ways to remove formaldehyde. Some of them are described below;
1. Eliminate Smoking Inside the Home
As we know, formaldehyde is the most common indoor air pollutant. Tobacco smoke and other tobacco products are significant sources of formaldehyde and VOCs. If someone smokes inside their home, they can emit formaldehyde into the air.
Reducing smoking inside will significantly reduce the amount of this toxic chemical found in your home and thus improve indoor air quality. Moreover, you can use air fresheners to eliminate odors in the house.
2. Clean Out Fireplaces and Wood-Burning Stoves
If you use a wood-burning stove, fireplace, or other gas space heater to heat your home, make sure the flue is open when it is not in use. These appliances emit formaldehyde, a known harmful carcinogen that causes respiratory problems in humans.
If you regularly clean out your fireplace and wood-burning stoves, this will reduce the amount of formaldehyde in your home.
3. Air Purifier with Activated Carbon Filter
Air purifiers with activated carbon filters are the most effective air purifier to remove formaldehyde from home. An activated carbon filter is a type of adsorbent treated to increase its capacity for gas absorption.
This type of air purifier can neutralize odor, dust, and other particles and remove toxic VOCs like formaldehyde from the air.
4. Natural Ventilation
One way to remove formaldehyde from the air is by opening a window. This will allow fresh air in and help with ventilation, but it is not an ideal solution for people who live in apartments or condos with limited space.
An open window is a simple and inexpensive way to remove formaldehyde from the air. The best time to open windows is in the morning, which will help cool your home throughout the day.
5. Pick Solid Wood Furniture
Choose solid wood furniture to remove formaldehyde from home. Avoid items made of particleboard, laminate, and plywood. Furniture made of solid wood such as cedar, mahogany, oak, maple, and pine is a great way to remove formaldehyde from the air.
These types of wood are natural materials free of formaldehyde and other chemicals that can cause health problems. Solid wood furniture is also more durable than its particle board or laminate counterparts.
6. Choose Organic Bedding
If you’re worried about the effects of formaldehyde on your health, it’s essential to take steps to reduce its presence in your bedroom. One way is by picking organic bedding and mattresses, which are less likely to emit formaldehyde.
Picking organic bedding and mattresses will reduce the amount of formaldehyde released into your home. While these items may cost more, they usually last longer than their synthetic counterparts.
7. Natural Fibers for Upholstery and Curtains
Another way to reduce formaldehyde is to pick natural fibers for upholstery and curtains. This is because formaldehyde binds to artificial materials, such as synthetic fabrics like polyester or rayon; it doesn’t bind to natural materials like cotton and wool.
8. Reduce Heat and Humidity
The formaldehyde in the air can be reduced by reducing heat and humidity. This is done by turning off electric appliances, opening windows to let out hot air, or using a dehumidifier.
When heat and humidity are high, formaldehyde levels can increase. When the temperature is above 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius) for more than four hours in a row, it can cause formaldehyde levels to rise.
If you want to reduce heat and humidity, try opening a window or turning on a fan for ventilation. You can also use an air conditioner with an air exhaust hose to expel hot air, but make sure that the unit is not near any furniture or curtains.
9. Beauty or Household Products
Do not use certain beauty or household products that contain formaldehyde. These include hair dye, nail polish remover, and any other formalin ingredients product. In this way, you can avoid exposure to formaldehyde.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take for formaldehyde to dissipate?
As a gas, formaldehyde disperses quickly and is not considered harmful in small quantities. However, if you are sensitive to the chemical or have breathing problems, such as asthma or COPD, you may experience symptoms when exposed to even small amounts of formaldehyde.
Does baking soda absorb formaldehyde?
Many people are wondering if baking soda absorbs formaldehyde. “Yes, baking soda absorbs some formaldehyde in the air. However, since there are other gases present in the air that it does not absorb as well, this will not be as effective at removing formaldehyde as a carbon filter.”
So, here ends our guide on removing formaldehyde from the air. Undoubtedly, formaldehyde is one of the most common indoor air pollutants that can cause serious health problems. Luckily, there are several methods you can use to remove formaldehyde from your home and eliminate it from your life.