5 Ways To Lessen Formaldehyde In Your Home
Formaldehyde is a flammable, colourless, pungent chemical. Commonly used as an industrial fungicide, disinfectant and germicide, formaldehyde is also a building material for various household products. Despite its industrial use, formaldehyde has long been associated with irritations of the nasal canal and eyes, as well as symptoms that are similar to those of the cold and flu. In some extreme cases, exposure to formaldehyde may lead to wheezing, coughing, nausea, chest tightness, skin rashes, and allergic reactions. Therefore, people with respiratory health conditions should avoid coming into contact with this harmful chemical as much as possible. To prevent damage to your health, here are some ways for you to reduce formaldehyde production in your home.
1. Implement no smoking policy at home
Even if formaldehyde is not added to tobacco products, it is still found when additives such as sugars, sorbitol, guar gum, cellulose fibres, and carob and gum in tobacco are burnt. In other words, you may come into contact with formaldehyde when being exposed to cigarette smoke. Establishing a “no smoking policy” at home can reduce cigarette smoke and formaldehyde, preventing negative health effects.
2. Use an air purifier
An air purifier can help reduce the content of formaldehyde in your home. Air purifiers for formaldehyde usually come with a composite filter inside, while the filter has a layer of activated carbon that can physically adsorb formaldehyde. Some filters are designed to contain chemical components, which catalyses the decomposition of formaldehyde. While air purifiers are useful in filtering out formaldehyde, you should still replace the filter screen on a regular basis. This is to prevent the adsorption function from being weakened or defective. A well-maintained air purifier goes a long way in lessening formaldehyde in your home.
Learn more: Do Air Purifiers Actually Work?
3. Always ventilate your home
Compared to the outdoors, the indoors may contain higher concentrations of formaldehyde. One of the ways to decrease the levels is by letting in fresh air such as opening your windows frequently for ventilation. Meanwhile, humidity may also cause high levels of formaldehyde emissions. Therefore, it is recommended to use a dehumidifier to lower the relative humidity.
4. Use exhaust fan when cooking
Formaldehyde can build up in your kitchen when you are cooking. To direct cooking fumes outside of the house, turn on an exhaust fan as a way to remove stagnant fumes. Alternatively, place a dehumidifier or an air purifier for VOC to ensure good air circulation.
5. Use low-formaldehyde building and household products
Furniture and household products make up a big part of your home interior. To ensure low emissions of formaldehyde, you may go for low-formaldehyde items, namely N.A.F. (no added formaldehyde), U.L.E.F. (ultra-low-emitting formaldehyde), or C.A.R.B. (California Air Resources Board) Phase 1 or Phase 2 compliant. Solid wood furniture contains no formaldehyde and hence makes an ideal option. If you are using pressed wood furniture or cabinets, remember to have them coated with a plastic laminate.
In a nutshell, while small amounts of formaldehyde may not result in serious health problems, they do become a cause of concern when the levels start to increase in your home. Do follow the aforementioned tips to reduce formaldehyde emissions and prevent the escalation of allergic symptoms.
Aurabeat provides FDA-registered portable air purifiers in Singapore. We also offer a wide range of compact air ionisers built with the same anti-Covid-19 technology. Contact us today to ensure a safe, germ-free indoor space.