Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Formaldehyde, Styrene Added To U.S. Health Department's Carcinogens List

"....an air cleaner with a deep-bed of activated carbon can remove a wide range of dangerous airborne chemicals."

The preservative formaldehyde and styrene, the chemical used to make styrofoam, have officially been added to the U.S. health department's list of chemicals that may put people at increased risk for cancer.

"Reducing exposure to cancer-causing agents is something we all want, and the Report on Carcinogens provides important information on substances that pose a cancer risk," said Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., director of both the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP).


The Report on Carcinogens is a congressionally mandated document that identifies agents, substances, mixtures, or exposures in two categories: known to be a human carcinogen and reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.

"This report underscores the critical connection between our nation's health and what's in our environment." added John Bucher, Ph.D., associate director of the NTP.

Formaldehyde was first listed in the 2nd Report on Carcinogens as a substance that was reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen, after laboratory studies showed it caused nasal cancer in rats. There is now sufficient evidence from studies in humans to show that individuals with higher measures of exposure to formaldehyde are at increased risk for certain types of rare cancers.

What is Formaldehyde?
Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable, strong-smelling chemical that is widely used to make resins for household items, such as composite wood products, paper product coatings, plastics, synthetic fibers, and textile finishes. Formaldehyde is also commonly used as a preservative in medical laboratories, mortuaries, and some consumer products, including some hair straightening products.

What is Styrene?

Styrene is a synthetic chemical used worldwide in the manufacture of products such as rubber, plastic, insulation, fiberglass, pipes, automobile parts, food containers, and carpet backing. People may be exposed to styrene by breathing indoor air that has styrene vapors from building materials, tobacco smoke, and other products. The greatest exposure to styrene in the general population is through cigarette smoking. Workers in certain occupations may potentially be exposed to much higher levels of styrene than the general population.

Can an Air Cleaner Remove Chemicals?

Yes, an air cleaner with a deep-bed of activated carbon can remove a wide range of dangerous airborne chemicals. AllerAir manufactures over 100 deep-bed carbon air cleaners for residential use and air scrubbers for heavy industry.

For more information on air quality and chemical exposure, connect with us:
 
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