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Rev Environ Health. 1998 Jan-Jun;13(1-2):91-8.

Potential health risks from exposure to indoor formaldehyde.

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Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.


An indoor air quality survey was conducted in Southern Louisiana to determine levels of airborne formaldehyde. Gas chromatography analyses of 419 air samples collected from 53 houses revealed levels of formaldehyde ranging from non-detectable to 6.60 mg/m3. Seventy four percent (312/419) of the samples had detectable amounts of airborne formaldehyde. Of the 312 positive samples, approximately 60% exceeded the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) guideline of 0.123 mg/m3. The highest number of samples exceeding the formaldehyde benchmark were collected in winter. It would appear that in some Southern Louisiana houses, a high level of formaldehyde could serve as a potential upper respiratory irritant.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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