According to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) draft assessment released last week, formaldehyde can cause multiple cancers involving the head, neck, and blood.
Formaldehyde is a byproduct of combustion and is a common industrial chemical. Formaldehyde is produced when burning natural gas, wood, tobacco, kerosene, and gasoline. It can be found in housing insulation, building materials, wood products, and common household items.
The EPA draft finally linked the inhalation of the dangerous chemical to nasopharyngeal cancer, which impacts the head and neck; sinonasal cancer, which impacts the nasal cavity or sinuses; and myeloid leukemia, which impacts bone marrow and blood cells.
If the findings are finalized, it will enable the EPA to enact more control of the substance. Now, the public has 60 days to give thoughts on the draft, which was issued through the EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS).
“I’m really pleased to see this IRIS assessment of formaldehyde — we’ve known formaldehyde is a human carcinogen for years,” Linda Birnbaum, former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program, told The Hill.
Source: Home Air Check/Youtube
The National Toxicology Program outlined formaldehyde’s carcinogenic potential in 2011, while the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has considered formaldehyde carcinogenic since 2006. Finally, the EPA is joining in and not hiding the risks of formaldehyde.
The EPA also explored other noncancer health effects linked to formaldehyde inhalation, like impacts on development and reproductive systems. Some studies have found a decreased birth weight and head circumference in newborns. They also found lower sperm motility in males and eventual birth defects in their offspring. Among those, they also found that inhalation can cause an increased risk of allergies and asthma symptoms, among many other potential links.
Previously, the EPA had just determined that it was a “probable human carcinogen.” These new findings are terrifying but will hopefully help to put restrictions and find ways to stop using it. Sign this petition asking the EPA to take action against dangerous pesticide uses.
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