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 Kitchen Cabinets and Particle Board Furniture
  One of the biggest sources of the chemical formaldehyde indoors is kitchen cabinets. It is also prevalent in plywood, paneling, particle board, fiberglass insulation, particle board shelving and carpet padding.

Evidence from several studies show formaldehyde causes headache, fatigue, depression and has the potential for causing asthma or inducing asthma attacks19. As much as 10% to 20% of people may be susceptible to formaldehyde at low concentrations20. Levels of formaldehyde that present a significant cancer risk have been measured in most homes21. It has been shown that once individual becomes sensitive to formaldehyde they can become sensitive to other chemicals that were previously not problamatic22.

Mobile homes are particularly notorious for causing health problems related to extremely high levels of formaldehyde emitted from the plywood and particleboard used in construction. The release of most formaldehyde may be within 6 months. However, after about a 50% decline in emission levels, it may continue to out-gas for an indefinite period, taking as long as 10 years to outgas to ambient outdoor levels. It becomes evident when most of the formaldehyde has evaporated from particle board Ė it will fall apart as if it were rotten.

Safe Solutions
  • Donít live in a new mobile home that comes with a warning label for formaldehyde. You wonít find it posted in an obvious place. If you are buying a mobile home or RV ask the manufacturer to see the label.
  • Choose kitchen cabinets and furniture made from solid wood, metal or at minimum, exterior grade plywood.
  • When ever possible, removing the source is always to best way to reduce levels of chemicals indoors. If that is not practical to remove them, consider sealing particle board cabinets, furniture and shelving that may contain high levels of formaldehyde with Hard Seal, a sealant made by AFM. There are similar encapsulates for painted surfaces and carpeting.
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Revised: July 05, 2017.

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