Formaldehyde can be harmful depending on how much is around you. It can be in the atmosphere in small quantities and the people inhaling it will be ok. But if you’re exposed to a large amount of it, it can cause health problems. Some side effects of significant exposure to formaldehyde include, irregular heart beat, chest pain, and lung irritation.
Yes, formaldehyde can be harmful. It’s a naturally occurring (meaning it’s already and always in the air, etc) substance that in small quantities will only irritate your eyes and upper respiratory system. Sometimes even small doses can cause serious damage to a person’s health though, and the effects can be long-lasting because it takes a very long time to dissipate. On top of the side effects tigerlily11 mentioned, exposure can also manifest as a runny nose, sore throat, dermatitis, headaches, fatigue, and increased sensitivity to other chemicals, which could potentially make someone allergic to other chemicals that didn’t cause problems before. Formaldehyde is found in cigarettes, car exhaust, natural gas, kerosene, glue, carpet and carpet adhesives, and many other common household products. The only way to know how much you’re being exposed to is to test for it, which can be done with a DIY kit.
Yes, formaldehyde has been proven to be dangerous with exposure over long periods of time. The National Cancer Institute has discussed the link between formaldehyde and the increased risk of cancer. A research study that was conducted showed that workers like anatomists and embalmers who are exposed to this chemical over a long period of time could develop nasopharyngeal cancer and leukemia.
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