Formaldehyde in your child's bedroom
Author: Little People's Bedroom Date Posted:10 March 2015
What is "formaldehyde"?
Formaldehyde is from the hydrocarbons group. It circulates inside the house as a gas and is therefore invisible, but its pungent, irritating odour can be smelled at low concentration (eg. the smell of new houses). Formaldehyde can cause irritation to the nose, eyes or throat. Cancers have been documented to be related with high concentration exposures over a long period, in occupational circumstances though.
Where is it found?
Formaldehyde is used in the manufacture of building materials and household products. It is widely found in our homes, in paints, adhesives, pressed wood furniture and flooring, varnish, synthetic carpets, cleaning products, fabrics, clothing, etc.
What are the recommended emissions limits?
Although Australia does not have legislative requirements, a classification scheme is being used industry wide. E1 classified products have less than 8mg of formaldehyde per 100g of material, which is equivalent to maximum emissions of 0.08ppm*. E0 classified products have a maximum emission of 0.041ppm.
Products labelled with emission classes E1 and E0 are deemed to have extremely low formaldehyde emissions.
While there is no mandatory framework for indoor air quality, it is a topic under consideration for future amendments.
It has to be noted that, internationally, the generally accepted level of formaldehyde emission is below 0.1ppm.
What should I do?
It is highly recommended to check the classification of the wooden product before buying it.
If you're not sure about the goods' classification, it is good to open their box in your garage and leave them to "off-gas" for a couple of weeks before bringing them into your home.
Formaldehyde concentrations are higher indoors than outdoors, so you can decrease levels by letting the fresh air in. Ventilate your home as often as possible. The use of a dehumidifer also helps, as high relative humidity also favours formaldehyde vapours.
Little People's Bedroom chose to work with suppliers using mostly E05 and E0 panels, which have formaldehyde contents 25 to 50 % lower than the E1 panels.
We are proud to offer the most healthy option for kids' furniture that exists on the market.
*parts per million