After reading about how the formaldehyde in the FEMA trailers for Hurricane Katrina survivors, I’ve been concerned about formaldehyde in my home. While I don’t live in a trailer, there is a lot of pressed wood and particle board in the building of this house, including in the kitchen cabinets. –Sam, MI
I am glad you wrote. A Center for Disease Control standard says that people exposed to as a little as 30 parts of formaldehyde per billion parts of air (ppb) for more than two weeks can suffer constricted airways, headaches and rashes. The trailers used by FEMA all measured above that level. Hopefully you don’t have that much formaldehyde, but getting rid of what you do have is a great goal.
I’ve loved to Safe Coat Safe Seal ever since it came on the market so many decades ago. It has been no end of help to the chemically sensitive, and I love the idea of it being used pro-actively to protect you and your family’s health. On the site AFM, the manufacturer, mentions that “It is used primarily to reduce toxic outgassing: in particular it is highly effective at sealing in formaldehyde outgassing from processed wood such as plywood, particle board and pressed wood. Safecoat Safe Seal is virtually odorless on application and odorless once cured. It is SCS CERTIFIED–LEED QUALIFIED.” I’ve used it and it really works.
Heads up that formaldehyde is released at higher levels when the product is heated. For example, if the sun shines on a particle board bulletin board, heating it up, formaldehyde will outgass at a higher rate than if the bulletin board had no heat or sun heating it up. The same would be true if a cabinet made of pressed wood is up against an oven that when turned on warms the cabinet.