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Mandatory Government Regulations Set Workplace Standards to Protect Human Health

WASHINGTON (July 15, 2015) - The Formaldehyde Panel of the American Chemistry Council released the following statement today following recent media coverage of a letter published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry about job-related formaldehyde exposure and ALS in the United States:

"It's important to note that no previous studies have found an association between formaldehyde exposure and ALS, something the authors acknowledge. The authors themselves say that these results should be interpreted with caution; jobs involving high formaldehyde exposure are uncommon in the United States; and, the disease itself is rare. Further, inhaled formaldehyde is rapidly metabolized by the body and robust peer-reviewed research demonstrates that inhaled formaldehyde does not move past the nasal cavity to reach any distant tissues inside the body-therefore it is unlikely the analysis findings are biologically plausible.

"Formaldehyde is an extensively regulated material. Mandatory government regulations set standards to protect human health and the environment. These requirements allow for the safe production, storage, handling and use of formaldehyde.

"The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has standards for workplace exposures to formaldehyde. These comprehensive health standards include limits on permissible exposures, requirements for monitoring employee exposures in the workplace, protective measures-including engineering controls, medical surveillance and communication-and training about hazards."

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