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Formaldehyde Is Biodegradable, Quickly Broken Down in the Air By Sunlight or By Bacteria in Soil or Water


Contact: Liz Snyder Bowman (202) 249-6509  
Email: Liz_Bowman@americanchemistry.com

WASHINGTON (January 29, 2014)The Formaldehyde Panel of the American Chemistry Council has issued the following statement in response to media reports that West Virginians may be breathing formaldehyde following the recent incident in the state:

“Formaldehyde is a ubiquitous, naturally occurring substance produced by every living organism. Studies show that formaldehyde is readily biodegradable and does not accumulate in either the environment or in people. In the environment, formaldehyde is quickly broken down in the air by sunlight or by bacteria in soil or water.” 1

» Learn more about formaldehyde

1 Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. “Toxicological Profile for Formaldehyde.” Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Services, 1999, p. 296. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/ToxProfiles/tp111.pdf

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