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Important Study Published on Formaldehyde in European Households

Well-known and respected Fraunhofer WKI scientist, Tunga Salthammer, has published a new study entitled “Formaldehyde sources, formaldehyde concentrations and air exchange rates in European housings.”  In the study, Salthammer undertakes a comprehensive literature review of studies related to the release and accumulation of formaldehyde in homes and then calculates exposure scenarios based on a European Reference Room.  Taking into account the exposure scenarios for indoor air plus outdoor air conditions and a number of secondary sources, Salthammer concludes that:

…the potential problem of exposure to high formaldehyde concentrations in indoor areas can therefore not be solved through the further tightening of already existing regulations, in particular because peak concentrations and therefore high exposures would remain largely uninfluenced.

This conclusion is particularly important, given, as Salthammer notes, that formaldehyde is a substance with a threshold effect.  Salthammer goes on to say that regulators should consider that “the most appropriate risk management option would be to address peak concentrations originating from temporary or intermitting sources, like the various combustion processes, cleaning activities, operation of air purifiers, indoor chemistry, etc.”  See Salthammer Study and Data Article.  More Info: Jackson Morrill

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