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Formaldehyde a trigger for asthma in children and adults

Formaldehyde is a harmful chemical that is found in most everyday homes. It is used in the production of fertiliser, paper, plywood and manufactured wood, as a preservative in some foods and in household products such as antiseptics, floor polishes and cleaning goods, medicines, and cosmetics, especially nail polish.

Chances are there is a product in your bathroom cabinet containing formaldehyde right now, and often timberwork and cabinetry in a home is particular high in this chemical, especially when new. Your pantry may also have many foods to avoid with asthma right now.

Nasal and eye irritation, neurological effects and increased risk of asthma and/or allergy are typical side effects as are eczema and respiratory distress. It is a known carcinogen in adults and children.

When mobile homes made from formaldehyde-based, resin plywood were supplied as temporary homes to those effected by Cyclone Katrina in the US, there was an outbreak of respiratory illness which was traced to higher than acceptable levels of formaldehyde. This was detectable after two years and a clear link established between formaldehyde and the resident’s symptoms of chronic nosebleeds, asthma and headaches.

It is not banned, so try to avoid it by searching out formaldehyde-free products.

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Lindy Schneider is a writer and researcher with a keen interest in health, wellbeing and natural childcare. She is an advocator of a chemical-free lifestyle in the best interests of her family, the community and a sustainable world. She lives in the Yarra Valley with her partner and two young children.

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