Formaldehyde – Secret Killer In Daily Lives

Formaldehyde (Chemical formula: HCHO) is a common indoor gaseous carcinogen. It is a pungent-smelling colorless gas, which can dissolve in water, alcohol and ether.

The existence of formaldehyde, be the concentration low or high, can harm our body.

Long-term exposure to high concentrations of formaldehyde -> can cause cancer


The Negative Effects of Formaldehyde in
Low Concentration

Apart from pungent smell, formaldehyde irritates respiratory tract and eyes, causing the symptoms, such as tearing of the eyes, sneezes, coughing, headache and nausea. Conjunctivitis, rhinitis, asthma and bronchitis are some serious diseases if we do not handle the existence of formaldehyde properly. Our skin is also vulnerable to formaldehyde despite low concentration, it may lead to dermatitis, skin redness, pain, cracked skin and blisters.

The Negative Effects of Formaldehyde in
High Concentration

Long-term exposure of formaldehyde in high concentration stimulates skin, throat, eyes, nasal cavity and pulmonary mucosa, leading to edema, inflammation and ulcer. This may lead to nasopharyngeal carcinoma and blood cancer without proper management. Infants and pregnant women are vulnerable to formaldehyde in high concentration. Termination of the growth of embryo, incomplete heart growth and deformity and miscarriage are the most serious cases.

Relevant Scientific Evidence

In 2011, National Toxicology Program in USA has listed formaldehyde as “human carcinogen”. The risks of suffering from cancers, ranging from leukemia to nasopharyngeal carcinoma, are proportional to the concentration and the time of exposure of formaldehyde.

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers formaldehyde a probable human carcinogen. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) also classifies formaldehyde as a carcinogen.

Dr David Hui, Professor of Respiratory Medicine, mentioned that formaldehyde and volatile organic compound (VOC) stimulate respiratory tracts, leading to runny nose and watery eyes. Long exposure of formaldehyde without good ventilation increases the risks of having cancer.

China Environmental Protection Association claimed that 90% children who are suffering from blood cancer has something to do with formaldehyde because of previous house constructions.


Formaldehyde Is All Around You!


The chance of exposure to formaldehyde in daily life is quite high, because formaldehyde mainly comes from paint, glue, fiberboard, plywood, sound insulation board, styrene and other building materials. These materials often appear and are used in the process of renovation and the production of furniture as raw materials. Hong Kong has laws prohibiting the addition of formaldehyde in food, but the formaldehyde content of renovation materials and furniture does not follow a rigid regulation. So, household or office environments after renovation often contain exceed formaldehyde concentration!

Building Materials

As many as 3,000 different building materials emit formaldehyde. Related building materials mainly include paint, fiberboard, plywood, sound insulation board, Styrofoam and cloth products. Largely used materials like floor glue, plastic veneer, latex paint, adhesives contain formaldehyde.


Furniture is generally made of different materials such as wood and artificial leather. In the process of production, these materials will be processed by chemicals containing formaldehyde, such as paint and protective paint, resulting in a certain concentration of formaldehyde in all kinds of furniture and the release of formaldehyde into the air during use.


Adhesives (commonly known as glue) produce formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is an important part of adhesives, so everything involving adhesives, including wood-based panels, coatings, carpets and furniture will contain formaldehyde. If a single item exceeds the standard will inevitably cause air quality substandard.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) Monitor

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Masterclean-ECO無光觸媒除甲醛服務 專業甲醛檢測儀器
Masterclean-ECO無光觸媒除甲醛服務 專業甲醛檢測儀器

Volatile organic compounds (VOC) detection service helps you to ensure that your products, working and living environment meet international VOC standards for environmental protection and human health.


Volatile organic compounds monitor

Applicable Site:

Suitable for all kinds of construction sites, post-renovation home, shops, warehouses and other spaces. The detector can continuously measure toxic, harmful and organic gases in various environments. It is especially suitable for personal safety protection and on-site VOC detection.

Related Service:

Masterclean’s in-house inspection service makes household and office environments safer. We can carry out:

1)Detection of formaldehyde emission of home furniture and accessories
2)Detection of formaldehyde and total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) emissions from office furniture, electronic systems and the environment
3)Formulation of formaldehyde removal and other indoor thorough cleaning services according to the customer’s requirement