Cutting-Edge University Research Confirms Safe Exposure Level for Formaldehyde1

Since the 1990s, published research has consistently demonstrated that safe thresholds for formaldehyde exposure exist. In 2011, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) pointed out that understanding the effects of inhaled formaldehyde vs. formaldehyde produced naturally by the human body was a key area for additional research. New research by the University of North Carolina (UNC) has clearly identified the scientifically-based safe formaldehyde threshold. This pioneering research provides indisputable data showing levels similar to what is present in homes cause no increased risk. Based on this cutting-edge research and past peer-reviewed science – a safe exposure level for formaldehyde has been consistently demonstrated.

UNC-Formaldehyde-Findings Confirm

Researchers measured DNA Protein Cross Links (or DPX) because they have been deemed the most sensitive biomarkers for exposure to formaldehyde. The result: UNC’s research is the most accurate measure demonstrating that current safe exposure limits are more than adequately protective.

University Research is Cutting Edge

Formaldehyde is present in all cells, which makes it challenging to evaluate how much inhaled formaldehyde travels beyond the nose when we breathe it in. Unique biomarkers have been pioneered by the UNC research team that help us understand potential impacts from inhaling formaldehyde. The UNC research is revolutionary – differentiating between inhaled formaldehyde exposures from the environment and those that the human body is naturally producing – allowing scientists to precisely determine how each source of formaldehyde affects the body. The UNC research shows that inhaled formaldehyde does not travel beyond the nose, thus limiting its ability to cause adverse effects.

A Safe Exposure Level for Formaldehyde

Safe exposure levels for formaldehyde, known as thresholds, have been clearly demonstrated by years of scientific study. Federal and international agencies developing chemical assessments and evaluating chemical risk must consider the entire weight-of-evidence on formaldehyde when establishing exposure levels. The current science demonstrates that exposure limits set by international agencies, like the World Health Organization, continue to be protective against potential adverse effects.

Research Continues to Support the Same Conclusion

Dozens of peer–reviewed studies - ALL support a safe exposure level to formaldehyde that is higher than typical concentrations in our homes and protective of worker health.


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1 Evaluation of Inhaled Low Dose Formaldehyde Induced DNA adducts and DN-protein cross-links by Liquid Chromatography – Tandem Mass Spectrometry, Lu, K et. al


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