Chemicals in Household Products – The Truth About Formaldehyde

When you first look at formaldehyde on Wikipedia, you find that it is an organic compound which can lead to confusion. Most people associate “organic” and “natural” to “good” and “safe”. It is not always the case. Arsenic and cyanide are found in nature but I wouldn’t recommend eating it or even rubbing it on your skin… Formaldehyde is one of those “natural but not safe” compounds.90% of formaldehyde is produced in the upper atmosphere by the action of the sun and oxygen on methane and hydrocarbons (forest fires, cigarettes smoke and car exhaust). But we can also produce formaldehyde industrially and that is where most of the problem lies.In 2011, formaldehyde has been declared by the US National Toxicology Program as “known to be a human carcinogen”. However, it is still found in hundreds of places such as textile (anti-wrinkle), cars (transmission, brake shoe, door panel, etc.), plywood, carpet, paper (napkins, facial tissue), insulation, paints and explosive. Because of its disinfectant proprieties, it is also used in many topical creams, lotions, shampoos, sunscreen, deodorant, body wash, soap bars, make-up, toothpaste, baby shampoo and baby wipes as a preservative to prevent growth of bacteria. Formaldehyde is also present in many cleaning products (disinfectants, all-purpose cleaners, air and carpet deodorizers).The dangers of formaldehyde exposure are: eye, nose and throat irritation, asthma-like reactions, skin irritation, headaches & migraines, nausea, fatigue and bronchitis. Longer exposure can lead to anxiety, depression, convulsion, coma, cancer and possibly leukemia.Did you know that formaldehyde is also used to preserve biological specimen (formol) and embalmment for open casket burrials? Apparently, there is so much formaldehyde build-up in our bodies nowadays that when we die (in many, many, many years), our bodies will start decomposing after seven days instead of the four days 20 years ago!Your best defence is of course to limit your exposure to this chemical. But because formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives can be identified under different names in cosmetics (Quaternium-15, Formalin, Methanal, 1,3-Dioxetane, Methylene Oxide) and since manufacturers of cleaning products are not required by law to list the ingredients on their bottles, it can be really difficult to know what is safe and what’s not. My best recommendation would be to find a manufacturer that clearly states that its products are “formaldehyde-free”. Otherwise you will never know if the bath & body products, cosmetics and cleaners are not doing more harm than good.Formaldehyde is unfortunately only the tip of the iceberg. What can you do to reduce your family’s exposure to chemicals in household products when you have no time to make your own ineffective cleaners, cosmetics and bath&body products, or run around town to expensive natural stores? Get my Free Report to discover 4 simple steps to make your home safer, while saving time and money.