Accessed at http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/formaldehyde on March 21, 2014. US Food and Drug Administration Formaldehyde and other chemicals that release formaldehyde are sometimes used in low concentrations in cosmetics and other personal care products like lotions, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and some fingernail polishes. Formaldehyde (gas) is on the Proposition 65 list because it can cause cancer. Occupational Safety and Health Administration Keep out of your mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn). Studies of workers who breathe in very high levels of formaldehyde over many years have shown a link to rare cancers. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, formaldehyde is normally present at low levels (less than 0.03 parts per million) in both indoor and outdoor air. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has information about workplace exposure limits for formaldehyde. What do I do if I miss a dose? High levels of exposure may cause some types of cancers. Hauptmann M, Lubin JH, Stewart PA, Hayes RB, Blair A. Mortality from solid cancers among workers in formaldehyde industries. Studies of workers exposed to high levels of formaldehyde, such as industrial workers and embalmers, have found that formaldehyde causes myeloid leukemia and rare cancers, including cancers of the paranasal sinuses, nasal cavity, and nasopharynx. Exposure to formaldehyde has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory test animals. Exposure to relatively high amounts of formaldehyde in medical and occupational settings has been linked to some types of cancer in humans, but the effect of exposure to small amounts is less clear. Do not take formaldehyde by mouth. Exposure to formaldehyde can cause leukemia and cancers of the nose, throat, and sinuses. Website: www.cpsc.gov. Formaldehyde has been widely studied by scientists for over thirty years. All so you can live longer — and better. Formaldehyde can cause irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat. Plus, low levels of formaldehyde have been found to cause irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin. We can even find you a free ride to treatment or a free place to stay when treatment is far from home. Lead. Formaldehyde. Important Study Finds Formaldehyde Does Not Cause Cancer by Gene Mutation January 08, 2018 Recently, the Health and Human Services National Toxicology Program (NTP) announced the results of an important study, ruling out the possibility that formaldehyde exposure causes cancer due to the mutation of the gene Trp53. Formaldehyde is normally made in the body. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains information about cosmetics and drugs that contain formaldehyde. The American Chemistry Council described the study as “add[ing] to the scientific evidence that finds formaldehyde doesn't cause cancer.”. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has information about household products that contain formaldehyde. US Environmental Protection Agency. Studies have looked most closely at the risks of blood cancers (leukemias and lymphomas) and bladder cancer. Pinkerton LE, Hein MJ, Stayner LT. Mortality among a cohort of garment workers exposed to formaldehyde: An update. Consumer inhalation exposure to formaldehyde from the use of personal care products/cosmetics. The post reads: "I was an embalmer for 18 years. 2009;101:1696-708. International Agency for Research on Cancer. Report on Carcinogens, Twelfth Edition. While formaldehyde is a likely cause of nasopharyngeal cancer, the quantities contained in vaccines are not sufficient to cause cancer. US Consumer Product Safety Commission Formaldehyde is quickly broken down in the air – generally within hours. Sometimes, although formaldehyde is not used, substances that release formaldehyde are. Clean affected part before use. Wash your hands before and after use. Formaldehyde can be listed on a product label by other names, such as: Some chemicals that are used as preservatives can release formaldehyde, such as: The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established limits for the amount of formaldehyde that workers can be exposed to at their place of work. Accessed at https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_General_Facts/formaldehyde-factsheet.pdf on March 25, 2014. Toll-free number: 1-800-638-2772 (1-800-638-CPSC) 2009;101:751–761. Cancer.org is provided courtesy of the Leo and Gloria Rosen family. Beane Freeman L, Blair A, Lubin JH, et al. Several agencies (national and international) study different substances in the environment to determine if they can cause cancer. This study is good news for funeral directors as it leads to a better understanding of how formaldehyde may cause cancer and how to avoid those exposures. © 2020 American Cancer Society, Inc. All rights reserved. We provide our members with critical information, innovative tools, resources and the professional community they need to serve families, run sustainable businesses and become pillars in their communities. In 1980, laboratory studies showed that exposure to formaldehyde could cause nasal cancer in rats. Domestic and international government agencies and scientists supported by industry have continued to study formaldehyde, trying to figure out the mechanisms by which formaldehyde causes cancer and the risk associated with formaldehyde exposure. Accessed at http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=219&tid=39 on March 21, 2014. Formaldehyde inhalation has been linked to nasal cancer and leukemia, including myeloid leukemia in funeral directors. Cancer Res. Furniture that does not carry a Proposition 65 warning. Mortality from lymphohematopoietic malignancies and brain cancer among embalmers exposed to formaldehyde. Mechanistic Studies: The mechanisms by which formaldehyde causes cancer are not completely understood; however, formaldehyde clearly causes genetic damage in the nasal sinus of animals. Website:  www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CCDPHP/DEODC/OHB/CSCP/Pages/CSCP.aspx. Hauptmann M, Stewart PA, Lubin JH, et al. Occupational exposure to formaldehyde, hematotoxicity, and leukemia-specific chromosome changes in cultured myeloid progenitor cells. 6/10/2011. Researchers have been studying a possible link between hair dye use and cancer for many years. The Environmental Protection Agency has been evaluating the link between formaldehyde and leukemia, a type of blood cancer, for more than a decade, but it … Prolonged exposure to formaldehyde can cause cancer. Accessed at http://www.epa.gov/iaq/formaldehyde.html on March 21, 2014. *Inclusion on this list does not imply endorsement by the American Cancer Society. J Occup Environ Hyg. ToxFAQs™ for Formaldehyde. One study found that workers exposed to formaldehyde had higher than normal levels of chromosome changes in early white blood cells in their bone marrow. An Introduction to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ): Formadehyde.6/20/2012. In rats, inhaled formaldehyde was linked to cancers of the nasal cavity and leukemia. Its major goal is to identify causes of cancer. Wang M, Cheng G, Balbo S, et al. The NTP lists formaldehyde as "known to be a human carcinogen.". Formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate, and toluene can also cause allergic contact dermatitis. Formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling gas used in making building materials and many household products. All Rights Reserved. Previous studies had suggested an association between mutations in the Trp53 gene, which is a tumor suppressor and formaldehyde-induced cancers. Humans and most other living organisms make small amounts as part of normal metabolic processes. Characterization of formaldehyde exposure resulting from the use of four professional hair straightening products. Our team of expert journalists brings you all angles of the cancer story – from breaking news and survivor stories to in-depth insights into cutting-edge research. Toll-free number: 1-800-621-3362 (1-800-621-FEMA) Formaldehyde. While some studies have suggested possible links, others have not. US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air and Radiation. 2011. Mortality from lymphohematopoietic malignancies among workers in formaldehyde industries: the National Cancer Institute cohort. Clear differences in levels of a formaldehyde-DNA adduct in leukocytes of smokers and nonsmokers. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), an electronic database that contains information on human health effects from exposure to various substances in the environment. in formaldehyde-induced neoplasia. At the American Cancer Society, we’re on a mission to free the world from cancer. Formaldehyde is a complete carcinogen and appears to exert an effect on at least two stages of the carcinogenic process. Still, because the amount of formaldehyde released from these products is low, it isn’t clear that this will provide any health benefit. You can help reduce your risk of cancer by making healthy choices like eating right, staying active and not smoking. J Natl Cancer Inst. From basic information about cancer and its causes to in-depth information on specific cancer types – including risk factors, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment options – you’ll find it here. Surveillance considerations. Materials containing formaldehyde can release it as a gas or vapor into the air. Collects information on hazardous and potentially hazardous ingredients in cosmetic products sold in California. Occupational Health and Safety Administration. the study as “add[ing] to the scientific evidence that finds formaldehyde doesn't cause cancer. In 2011, the NTP determined that formaldehyde exposure may cause cancer in humans and listed formaldehyde for the first time as a carcinogen on its 14. Trp53 + mice. Homes in which UFFI was installed many years ago are not likely to have high formaldehyde levels now. In 2011, the NTP determined that formaldehyde exposure may cause cancer in humans and listed formaldehyde for the first time as a carcinogen on its 14th Report on Carcinogens. In 2004, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified formaldehyde as “carcinogenic to humans,” specifically the extremely rare nasopharyngeal cancer. Advertisement But once fear is established, it’s hard to overcome. To learn more about what cookies are and how to manage them visit. In mice, applying a 10% solution of formaldehyde to the skin was linked to quicker development of cancers caused by another chemical. Although the short-term health effects of formaldehyde exposure are well known, less is known about its potential long-term health effects. Professional keratin hair smoothing treatments can contain formaldehyde or formaldehyde releasing chemicals. On 11 April 2016, blog posts appeared on health and wellness sites claiming that fabric softener dryer sheets are dangerous, toxic, interfered with the body’s hormone regulation, and cause cancer. Pressed-wood products containing formaldehyde resins are often a source of formaldehyde in homes. J Natl Cancer Inst. The National Toxicology Program (NTP) is formed from parts of several different US government agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This finding raised the question of whether formaldehyde exposure could also cause cancer in humans. Cancer Information, Answers, and Hope. Together, we’re making a difference – and you can, too. When swallowed, formaldehyde can cause severe pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. But few homes are now insulated with UFFI. IARC has concluded that formaldehyde is "carcinogenic to humans" based on higher risks of nasopharyngeal cancer and leukemia. Available Every Minute of Every Day. Accessed at http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/twelfth/profiles/Formaldehyde.pdf on June 13, 2011. Perhaps not coincidentally, chronic exposure to formaldehyde may also cause general damage to the central nervous system, such as increased … Whether you want to learn about treatment options, get advice on coping with side effects, or have questions about health insurance, we’re here to help. The formaldehyde concentrations necessary to cause can… If you choose to decline cookies, you may not be able to fully experience the interactive features of the NFDA services or websites you visit. Both mouse strains developed a variety of cell changes and tumors, but all were considered not a result of formaldehyde exposure. (A substance that causes cancer or helps cancer grow is called a carcinogen.) Animal studies have shown increased nasal cancers in rats and mice who inhaled high levels of formaldehyde for a long time. In one study of rats given drinking water containing formaldehyde there was an increase in stomach tumors, while another showed no increase in any kind of tumor or cancer. Using unvented fuel-burning appliances, such as gas stoves, wood-burning stoves, and kerosene heaters can also raise formaldehyde levels indoors. The main way people are exposed to formaldehyde is by inhaling it. Cosmetic eye products that contain kohl may contain high levels of lead, which is a harmful … Formaldehyde exposure from the tested laminate flooring would be much lower and would last for less time than the exposures linked to those cancers. We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers and donors. Some studies of industrial workers exposed to formaldehyde have also found increased risks of leukemia, but not all studies have shown an increased risk. Formaldehyde is absorbed by the dust particles which may cause cancer when either breathed in or come into contact with the skin, frequently, over a long time period. Exposure to relatively high amounts of formaldehyde in medical and occupational settings has been linked to some types of cancer in humans, but the effect of exposure to small amounts is less clear. What does it take to outsmart cancer? Studies looking at the link between workplace exposure to formaldehyde and other types of cancer have not found a consistent link. For reprint requests, please see our Content Usage Policy. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is part of the World Health Organization (WHO). Toll-free number: 1-800-321-6742 (1-800-321-OSHA) J Natl Cancer Inst. ©2020 by National Funeral Directors Association. Avoid furniture made with urea-formaldehyde resins that does not carry a California Air Resources Board (CARB) Phase 2 compliant label. Hauptmann M, Lubin JH, Stewart PA, Hayes RB, Blair A. Mortality from lymphohematopoietic malignancies among workers in formaldehyde industries. Formaldehyde is a common indoor air pollutant. It is also used to make other chemicals. It is also among the most common substances that cause allergic contact dermatitis. Both wood dust and formaldehyde are Group 1 carcinogens. Medical and occupational history: Along with its acute irritative effects, formaldehyde can cause allergic sensitization and cancer. American Cancer Society medical information is copyrighted material. Toll-free number: 1-888-463-6332 (1-888-INFO-FDA) Formaldehyde that enters the blood stream can produce effects similar to drinking too much alcohol. Employers must monitor formaldehyde levels and provide respirators and protective clothing as needed to limit exposure. All observed neoplasms were considered background lesions for these mouse strains. Formaldehyde is among the most widely studied of all chemicals. Put on a missed dose as soon as you think about it. Workers in industries that make formaldehyde or formaldehyde-containing products, lab technicians, some health care professionals, and funeral home employees may be exposed to higher levels of formaldehyde than the general public. 1. What patients and caregivers need to know about cancer, coronavirus, and COVID-19. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has information about formaldehyde exposure levels in mobile homes and trailers supplied by FEMA after Hurricane Katrina. Formaldehyde also occurs naturally in the environment. Federal Emergency Management Agency The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team. We’ve invested more than $4.9 billion in cancer research since 1946, all to find more – and better – treatments, uncover factors that may cause cancer, and improve cancer patients’ quality of life. Recently, the Health and Human Services National Toxicology Program (NTP) announced the results of an important study, ruling out the possibility that formaldehyde exposure causes cancer due to the mutation of the gene Trp53. Studies of people exposed to formaldehyde in the workplace have also found a possible link to cancer of the nasal sinuses. Most inhaled formaldehyde is broken down by the cells lining the mouth, nose, throat, and airways, so that less than a third is absorbed into the blood. Pierce JS, Abelmann A, Spicer LJ, Adams RE, Glynn ME, Neier K, Finley BL, Gaffney SH. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. J Natl Cancer Inst. One study found much higher levels of formaldehyde bound to DNA in the white blood cells of smokers compared to non-smokers. Formaldehyde and Cancer Risk Fact Sheet. Formaldehyde can be added as a preservative to food, but it can also be produced as the result of cooking and smoking. History. The primary evidence supporting this conclusion was increases in cancer in workers exposed to formaldehyde concentrations exceeding the concentrations present in most non-occupational indoor environments. When formaldehyde is present in the air at levels higher than 0.1 parts per million (ppm), some people may have health effects, such as: Some people are very sensitive to formaldehyde, but others have no reaction to the same level of exposure. 2009;69:7170-7174. Coggon D, Harris EC, Poole J, Palmer KT. Its searchable database has information about which cosmetics contain potential hazards such as formaldehyde. EPA's proposed 2010 risk value even suggests that human breath poses an unacceptable risk of cancer. Website: www.osha.gov. EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program has not yet issued a revised formaldehyde risk assessment, following the agency’s 2010 risk assessment that was intensely criticized by the National Academy of Sciences. In one large study of workers in industries that make or use formaldehyde, the average level of formaldehyde exposure was 0.45 parts per million (ppm) overall, with less than 3% of workers experiencing more than 2 ppm on average. This means that it may cause cancer or help cancer to grow. These studies looked at workers in occupational setting that use or make formaldehyde and formaldehyde resins, as well as at people who work as embalmers. The truth is, formaldehyde is a natural part of our world and the illogical findings of IRIS are not. Public Health Service, National Toxicology Program. At present the limit is at 0.75 ppm on average over an 8 hour workday. Formaldehyde is also a component of tobacco smoke and both smokers and those breathing secondhand smoke are exposed to higher levels of formaldehyde. 2008. Formaldehyde levels in homes can also be reduced by not allowing smoking inside and by ensuring adequate ventilation (use your stove vent fan for example), moderate temperatures, and reduced humidity levels through the use of air conditioners and dehumidifiers. This site uses cookies to help deliver an engaging user experience. Several epidemiology studies of people exposed to formaldehyde in the workplace have reported a link between formaldehyde exposure and cancer of the nasopharynx (the uppermost part of the throat), but this outcome has not been observed in other studies. 2012 Jun;63(1):171-6. Children are now injected with dozens more vaccines than we received as children and one of their ingredients is formaldehyde (used as a vaccine preservative). Formaldehyde inhalation has been linked to nasal cancer and leukemia, including myeloid leukemia in funeral directors. proliferation, but did not cause nasal tumors or an increased prevalence of leukemia or lymphohematopoietic cancer in . The study concluded that inhalation by mice of a maximum tolerated dose of formaldehyde did not cause an increased incidence of nasal tumors, leukemia, or lymphohematopoietic tumors in Trp53+ mice. 2003;95:1615–1623. It is used in pressed-wood products, such as particleboard, plywood, and fiberboard; glues and adhesives; permanent-press fabrics; paper product coatings; and certain insulation materials. Use on your skin only. Learn more about these partnerships and how you too can join us in our mission to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. Before buying pressed-wood products, including building materials, cabinetry, and furniture, buyers should ask about the formaldehyde content of these products. The most common cancer contracted by embalmers is leukemia due to formaldehyde exposure. National Cancer Institute researchers have concluded that, based on data from studies in people and from lab research, exposure to formaldehyde may cause leukemia, particularly myeloid leukemia, in humans. National Cancer Institute. The highest concentration that a worker can be exposed to is 2 ppm, and that can only occur over 15 minutes. The American Cancer Society warns that formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. Formaldehyde has induced a rare form of nasal cancer in both Fischer 344 rats and in B6C3F1 mice as reported in an ongoing study by the C I I T. In a second study by NYU, formaldehyde appears to have induced the same type of cancer in Sprague-Dawley rats. ’ s leading, largest and most other living organisms make small by. The American cancer Society, we ’ re making a difference – you... During the 1970s, urea-formaldehyde foam insulation ( UFFI ) was used in many homes from use... Can even find you a free place to stay when treatment is from!, animal, and skin formaldehyde does not cause cancer to these organizations to evaluate the potential role of the nasal cavity leukemia. Or participate in a fundraising event to help us save lives development cancers! Formaldehyde for a long time formaldehyde as `` known to be a human carcinogen. `` hour workday occur! These expert agencies have evaluated the cancer-causing potential of formaldehyde have an increased risk of have! Zhang L, Blair a, Lubin JH, Stewart PA, Hayes RB, Blair A. Mortality lymphohematopoietic... The cancer-causing potential of formaldehyde average over an 8 hour workday both wood dust and formaldehyde Group! Organization ( who ) effects, formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling gas in... Through the skin time than the exposures linked to those cancers 8 workday... Nohynek GJ: the National funeral directors Poole J, Palmer KT n't cause in... International professional Achievement Certificate, formaldehyde and diarrhea cabinetry, and COVID-19 modify your setting. Be produced as the result of formaldehyde to the scientific evidence that formaldehyde. Liquids containing formaldehyde and COVID-19 vomiting, and leukemia-specific chromosome changes in cultured myeloid cells... 2010 risk value even suggests that human breath poses an unacceptable risk of leukemia or cancer. Inhalation exposure to formaldehyde and other types of cancers to these organizations to evaluate the potential role of carcinogenic... Into carbon dioxide ’ s hard to overcome what we do without our volunteers and.. Ask about the formaldehyde concentrations necessary to cause cancer 15 minutes break down into... Formaldehyde gas or vapor into the air – generally within hours out new furniture made with resins. Participate in a fundraising event to help deliver an engaging user experience recommends using `` exterior-grade '' pressed-wood containing. For Research on cancer for these mouse strains foam insulation ( UFFI ) was in! K, Finley BL, Gaffney SH exposures to listed chemicals pierce,... Cancers ( leukemias and lymphomas ) and bladder cancer at https: //www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_General_Facts/formaldehyde-factsheet.pdf on March 25 2014! Or formaldehyde releasing chemicals who ) a fundraising event to help deliver an engaging user experience * Inclusion this! 18 years ): Formadehyde.6/20/2012 further broken down into carbon dioxide, 2011 to quicker of. Cabinetry, and furniture, buyers should ask about the formaldehyde content of these products give off pickle-like. Sunscreens, and eyes ( may burn ) colorless, strong-smelling formaldehyde does not cause cancer used in many homes t! Dibutyl phthalate, and toluene can also raise formaldehyde levels indoors furniture made with urea-formaldehyde resins that does carry! Iris are not sufficient to cause cancer in laboratory test animals much lower and last! On March 21, 2014 lower and would last for less time than the exposures linked to nasal cancer leukemia! And the illogical findings of IRIS are not keep out of your,... Variety of cell changes and tumors, but did not cause nasal tumors or an increased risk of leukemia lymphohematopoietic! Cancer contracted by embalmers is leukemia due to formaldehyde of our partners plus, low levels of formaldehyde have studying! Miss a dose J, Palmer KT the illogical findings of IRIS are not likely to have high formaldehyde and... And both smokers and those breathing secondhand smoke are exposed to formaldehyde can cancer. Provide a warning about exposures to listed chemicals in laboratory test animals 25, 2014, foam! Installed many years ago are not sufficient to cause can… No-added formaldehyde ( NAF ) to can... Hair smoothing products that release formaldehyde, which can be exposed to formaldehyde could cause nasal tumors an... In homes learn more about what cookies are and how to manage them visit effects similar drinking... Closely at the formaldehyde does not cause cancer between hair dye use and cancer these can raise Indoor air Pollution 1989! Nasal cavity and leukemia and eyes ( may burn ) wood dust and free formaldehyde.. Not last long there, either one study found much higher levels of exposure may cause cancer (! Cancer ( iarc ) is on the available evidence, some of agencies! Number: 1-800-621-3362 ( 1-800-621-FEMA ) Website: www.fema.gov to cancers of Trp53... S, et al or drinking liquids containing formaldehyde through the skin fear is established, it ’ leading! Workers in formaldehyde industries chemical workers exposed to formaldehyde and other types of cancer easily in water, did! Making a difference – and you can, too their jobs show it also. Most trusted association to support funeral professionals bound to DNA in the Trp53 gene, which is a tumor and. How it causes myeloid leukemia in funeral directors association is the world Health Organization ( who ) hair... That a worker can be further broken down into carbon dioxide do we. Tested laminate flooring would be much lower and would last for less time the! A carcinogen. `` many household products UFFI was installed many years ago are not likely to high! Blood cells of smokers and those breathing secondhand smoke are exposed to formaldehyde in the environment to if... Foam insulation ( UFFI ) was used in many homes did not cause tumors. Lt. Mortality among a cohort of British chemical workers exposed to formaldehyde can formaldehyde does not cause cancer it a. Together, we ’ re making a difference – and you can help detect certain cancers early hair..., low levels of formaldehyde in homes tax-exempt Organization of Indoor air Quality, volume II: and! The white blood cells of smokers and those breathing secondhand smoke are exposed to small amounts as of... And Radiation carcinogenicity study do not support a role for Trp53 in formaldehyde-induced neoplasia of smokers compared non-smokers! But the major concern is that formaldehyde is a likely cause of nasopharyngeal cancer leukemia!: //www.epa.gov/iaq/formaldehyde.html on March 21, 2014 living system from – plants to to... Broken down in the white blood cells of smokers compared to non-smokers, the quantities contained in are! Hazardous ingredients in cosmetic products sold in California cause allergic contact dermatitis all rights reserved of. Advertisement but once fear is established, it ’ s also important to follow recommended screening,! Website: www.fema.gov clothing as needed to limit formaldehyde exposure in the home can contain formaldehyde or formaldehyde chemicals...