Is Formaldehyde a safe ingredient?

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Formaldehyde and many formaldehyde releasing preservatives have found home in the many products we use on a daily basis such as shampoo, conditioners, hair gels, and tooth paste. Is it safe or not, you be the judge.

Believe it or not the strong smelling chemical compound Formaldehyde, which is colorless, and flammable and is used in manufacturing building supplies such as insulation, plywood, particle board, glues and adhesives is also commonly found in a lot of personal care products as well like, shampoo, soaps, and cosmetics
used as a preservative; even certain vitamins are known to have this nasty chemical as well as clothes and many more surprising products.

Formaldehyde has been classified by the EPA as a carcinogen which is a (cancer causing chemical). Those who suffer from sensitivity to Formaldehyde can experience symptoms such as nose, throat and eye irritation, headaches, rashes, and hives. Other symptoms could include, trouble sleeping, memory lose, trouble focusing, ear infections, migraines, difficulty breathing, aching muscles and joints, and abdominal pain.

It is said that the air in your home may be 3-70 times higher in air pollution that the air outside. I have a close friend who was so sensitive to formaldehyde; he had to eventually move out of his house and now lives in an older home in a warmer climate with lots of ventilation. Prior to his move doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him. He would suffer from very intense, severe migraines. Finally when it all boiled down to it being Formaldehyde, the carpets came up, wood floors went down, and they continued to try to eliminate the amount of Formaldehyde in their house to the point they gave up and eventually moved. Of course not everyone is as sensitive to Formaldehyde as he is, but it does go to show how nasty this chemical can be to those who are sensative and how invasive it is. It’s in a lot of products.

I understand that the companies that use these harmful ingredients in products such as our soaps, and shampoos are in small regulated amounts that you can easily find on the internet, but if other countries such as Japan and Sweden have put bans on ingredients such as Formaldehyde in toiletries and cosmetics should that raise some concern, especially when child hood asthma and cancer are so rapid.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again, we live in a chemical world and though it does seem hopeless to be chemical free, every little effort and decision will help. You may not be able to avoid them all, but shouldn’t we at least start becoming more informed and educated on these ingredients our government tells us is safe and make the decisions for ourselves.


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  • Mikee Mercader
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