Formaldehyde is used in much of our everyday household products, and its presence can be more harmful than you think.
What is formaldehyde?
A colourless, flammable and strong-smelling chemical used in building materials and household products, the presence of formaldehyde often lives in our humble abode without detection. If you use glue and disinfectants — or if your home contains of plywood or fiberboard materials — chances are formaldehyde already lives with you. Long-term exposure to formaldehyde has been linked to the rising cases of nose and throat cancers in workers. At room temperature, formaldehyde is an odour, where most cases of exposure are resulted.
Don’t panic: formaldehyde is a common chemical, and we’ve all been exposed to it one way or another. In most cases, formaldehyde levels in our home are relatively low and mostly harmless. However, not all of us are built the same. Those who have higher levels of sensitivity, like our children and elderly, may experience irritation in our eyes, throat and skin. These irritations can also cause serious discomfort for those with asthma or breathing problems. All in all, it’s sound advice to take all precautions necessary to reduce levels of formaldehyde in your home. The dizziness or nausea felt from the odour of fresh paint, or similar to a new car, are symptoms informing you that it may be too much formaldehyde for your body to handle.
- Cigarette smoke
If you smoke cigarettes in your home, or live with a smoker, formaldehyde levels in your home can also be pertinent. Although formaldehyde isn’t added to tobacco products, common additives used such as sugars and cellulose fibres produce formaldehyde as a byproduct. Popularised vapes and e-cigarettes also contain similar levels. A study found that formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals can linger on walls, carpeting and finishings for more than 12 hours since the last cigarette smoked. We know about first-hand and second-hand smoking, but this is the third-hand smoking less familiar to us, harming the more sensitive members of our family.
Although the best measure may be to stop smoking at home entirely, Raze Residential offers a solution that provides surface disinfection and air purification for up to 2 years. Our professional service to spray your home with an even tougher and effective photocatalyst coating, no door handle, window or ceiling is left behind: eliminating any lingering formaldehyde in hard-to-clean or less ventilated areas. This is industry-grade cleaning for your own home, and is especially helpful when you need a more holistic approach to eliminate formaldehyde emitted from cigarette smoke in your home, or nearby.
- New homes
Newly refurbished homes are also susceptible to high levels of formaldehyde. Although moving into your new home is exciting, we hate to be a kill-joy by warning you of the safety risks before doing so. Each individual furniture may only leave small traces of formaldehyde, but an entirely new home can accumulate to dangerous levels of exposure. Even eco-friendly materials can contain formaldehyde. As mentioned, formaldehyde tends to be emitted from wooden materials in furniture or flooring, with its harmful effects exacerbated by furnishing processes like drying and pressing.
Besides from multi-surface friendly Raze Original and our Raze Residential service, Raze Wood offers a great solution if wood pieces dominate your home palette. Like all other Raze Home products, it offers 3 months of continuous sanitisation when you spray a coating onto any wooden surface. Formulated for wooden materials, it does not compromise the appearance or quality of your surfaces. Before moving into your new home, you may want to consider employing the use of photocatalyst protection to eliminate undetectable dangers like formaldehyde, as well as other toxic chemicals.
- Gases released from household products
Finally, with formaldehyde appearing colourless in nature, it’s easy to mistake it for a harmless chemical. Besides from its high flammability, the potent smell of formaldehyde given off by a process called ‘off-gassing’ can have serious effects on our health. Our household products can ‘off-gas’ under room temperature after some time, releasing formaldehyde that lingers in the air.
Common household products that emit formaldehyde include:
Although the best procedure is to remove the source and leave it to off-gas outside of your home, this step may not always be possible. Even removal via air purification measures may not rid formaldehyde entirely out of your home. Household products like detergents and disinfectants are particularly tricky as we tend to use them routinely.
This is where photocatalyst protection can come in handy without obstructing your everyday lifestyle. Prevention is always better than disinfection. Our household routines are integral in the protection of our home and family life, and a long-term solution must be deployed to address this invisible problem. Raze Original can be used to form a self-sanitising layer on an array of different home furnitures, and works to decompose and prevent pathogens like formaldehyde. As mentioned, Raze Wood is great for those formaldehyde-ridden wooden surfaces. Raze Leather is great for that new sofa you hesitate to clean, but smells funny. Raze Ceramic eliminates formaldehyde gases emitted from your harsh bathroom chemicals. By spraying self-sanitising coatings on your surfaces, it simultaneously purifies indoor pollutants without any trace of smell - making formaldehyde removal a round-the-clock process, 3-months long.