If you think formaldehyde isn't something you have to worry about unless you work in a lab, this may not be the case. A recent report from POLITICO alleges that the Trump administration suppressed the release of an Environmental Protection Agency study warning "that most Americans inhale enough formaldehyde vapor in the course of daily life to put them at risk of developing leukemia and other ailments." This vapor often comes from household products that contain formaldehyde, and overexposure to this carcinogen could have a negative impact on your health.
Formaldehyde is hiding in many places you might not suspect. For example, if you live in a recently constructed building, you own synthetic furniture, love to wear those wrinkle-free clothes, or you get hair-straightening treatments, you're being exposed to formaldehyde. According to the National Cancer Institute, formaldehyde is present in particleboard, plywood, fiberboard, glues and adhesives, wrinkle-resistant fabrics, paper product coatings, and certain insulation materials.
The news that consumers may not have all the information they need about formaldehyde to make informed choices about what they purchase means that you need to be your own advocate in order to minimize your exposure to potentially carcinogenic chemicals. If you want to check to see if you're currently using products on your body or in your home that contain formaldehyde, you can find a list of some common household items, including cleaning, bath, and pet products, on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website. Additionally, here's some other items you might not know aren't formaldehyde-free.