Formaldehyde is Carcinogenic? No way!

500px-Formaldehyde-2D.svgOf course, I’m being sarcastic in the title.

Formaldehyde is that awful smelling agent used as embalming liquid, as a preservative fixer in medical labs (that clear liquid in big glass jars in bio labs), in fabric finishes, in bath and beauty products and in particle board furniture. I know firsthand this chemical is unsafe.

I had a miscarriage while taking Anatomy and Physiology class with Lab in Chiropractic school. I had to dissect cadavers and the smell of formaldehyde always “made” my mornings. A month after the class started, I had a miscarriage and my classmates and I attributed it to my exposure to formaldehyde that is generally used to preserve cadavers.

And after a year of mysterious myriad of symptoms, my mom discovered that she was allergic to formaldehyde, probably acquired after working in the garment industry for thirty years.

So, yeah, formaldehyde is bad news. I didn’t need this news to be convinced of that. But as all chemicals that are meant to be banned or classified as harmful or carcinogenic, the government has to perform all sorts research, answer to the industry’s lobbying groups, and conduct public commenting sessions.

And finally, on Friday June 10, after years of chemical indsutry’s lobbying efforts, Department of Health and Human Services added formaldehyde, and a botanical known as aristolochic acids, to the category known to beĀ  human carcinogen. Six other substances, including captafol, cobalt-tungsten carbide: powders and hard metals, certain glass wool fibers (inhalable), o-nitrotoluene, riddelliine, and styrene, are listed in the list, “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”

Read more about this warning on Green Living Ideas.

{Top Photo} Wikipedia


  1. says

    Why is our system so backwards? It is beyond frustrating. I am amazed and shocked that it has taken so long to classify something so clearly toxic as “known to be human carcinogen”. Thanks for sharing the news Karen.

    • says

      It’s the system of big industry lobby groups overpowering the government for the sake of mighty dollar, over people’s lives. It’s pure greed.

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