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« Is your sunscreen safe for fish? | Main | I'll be your guinea pig! »
Friday
Mar122010

Link between formaldehyde exposure and asthma in kids

An article in the March edition of Environmental Health Perspectives (vol. 118, #3) describes a study done which demonstrates a link between formaldehyde exposure and asthma in children. http://ehsehplp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/fetchArticle.action?articleURI=info:doi/10.1289/ehp.118-a131b  For me, the mention of formaldehyde brings to mind high school biology class and the dissection of fetal pigs.  Surely, that finite exposure couldn’t have caused asthma in me or in my child (both of us have mild, manageable asthma).  However, formaldehyde is a staple chemical in the manufacturing industry and may be present in nursery furniture, carpeting or clothing.  Maybe it leached out of our household furnishings?  I’ll never really know.  The article admits that there were several limitations to the study, but we should not dismiss the larger point.  We are constantly and unknowingly exposing ourselves and our children to potentially harmful chemicals all the time.  We don’t always know where the threat is until we look in the rearview mirror.  I could choose to live in fear and make myself crazy.  Instead, I’m choosing to make changes that are within my control so when I discover all of the unknowns someday, the net effect won’t be that bad.  Maybe my past choices have lead to asthma and Crohn’s disease in my children, maybe not.  I won’t obsess about it but I will keep reading articles and labels and get rid of the offending toxins as I discover them.  What do you think?  Are these bits of news helpful guidance or just scary?  Let me know.

Link between formaldehyde exposure & asthma in children

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