Formaldehyde, a naturally occurring substance made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, is found across living systems – from plants to animals to humans – and produced as part of natural metabolic processes.
Everyday, people benefit from products that rely on the chemistry of formaldehyde. For example, low-emitting adhesives and glues are exceptional bonding agents, used to manufacture durable, high-performing composite and engineered wood products to make cabinetry, countertops, furniture, flooring, wall sheathing, support beams and other high-quality household furnishings and structures. These adhesives and glues have been used safely by industry for many decades and are constantly tested for compliance with national and international regulations.
Cosmetics, personal care products and medicines may contain very small amounts of formaldehyde-releasing ingredients that are necessary to kill microorganisms and prevent bacterial and pathogen growth, extending product shelf life and protecting health.
Formaldehyde is a key chemical used worldwide to create products that provide comfort, safety and energy savings. It is used to produce polyurethane foams for insulation or your running shoes. It is in your yoga pants and your automobile paint. The low cost and versatility of formaldehyde mean that its use will continue to expand.
Formaldehyde is one of the most well studied chemicals in use today. Mandatory government regulations set standards for safe production, storage, handling and use of products of formaldehyde chemistry to ensure public safety. As a result, exposure to formaldehyde is low and of minimal concern. Formaldehyde does not accumulate in the environment because it quickly degrades to carbon and water. In typical indoor environments, formaldehyde levels are well below government guidelines and standards. Formaldehyde is a by-product of combustion (like smoking cigarettes) and cars and trucks emit low levels every day.