With a world full of indoor and outdoor toxins, you must be wondering how to keep the air clean and fresh indoors. For example, formaldehyde is one of the most poisonous indoor gas in the air.
So that’s why you should know how to remove formaldehyde from the air?
You can find the answer to this question in this article, where I have made sure to list down all the possible effects of formaldehyde on the human body, plus ways to remove formaldehyde from the air.
You can use air purifiers, high ventilation methods, HEPA filters, and so on to remove formaldehyde from the air.
Dive in to see what you can do to eliminate formaldehyde from the air.
What Is Formaldehyde? How Does It Affect the Body?
Wondering how to get rid of formaldehyde, let’s dive in to look at what exactly formaldehyde is. Formaldehyde is a type of colorless pollutant which comes with a pungent smell. It is a type of dangerous air pollutant present in the environment.
Formaldehyde is a common air pollutant among the twenty-five commonly produced chemicals worldwide. As humans, we come in contact with formaldehyde in some ways or others. Either inhale this pollutant or get in touch with it over our eyes or skin.
Indoor air comprises high formaldehyde levels compared to outdoor air. It’s all because of several environmental sources, lack of airflow, and ventilation.
The formaldehyde level within the indoor air range from 0.02 to 4 ppm. In contrast, outdoor formaldehyde levels range around 0.0002-0.006 ppm within rural areas and around 0.001-0.02 ppm within urban areas.
Specific common sources lead to formaldehyde contact, like pressed wood products, including plywood. Apart from its formaldehyde, sources include adhesives and flues.
It is commonly present in our kitchen. It is also present in preservatives and is produced by smoking or cooking.
Formaldehyde is also present in paper towels, air fresheners, nail polish removers, paints, toothpaste, baby care products, etc.
How Does Formaldehyde Affect the Body?
So, how does contact with formaldehyde affects our bodies?
This contaminant can lead to serious health issues for which you must take precautions.
Formaldehyde is a type of gas present in indoor settings, creating an amalgamation of symptoms like burning sensations in the nose, eyes, throat, respiratory issues, and others due to formaldehyde exposure.
The primary route of formaldehyde exposure is breathing in this compound formaldehyde. Upon its exposure, humans begin experiencing altered health symptoms leading to the following effects:
- Coughing or shortness of breath.
- Unexplained drowsiness, insomnia, or chronic fatigue.
- Irregular heartbeats or chest pain.
- Stomach pain.
- Skin irritation.
EPA has also classified formaldehyde as one of the probable human carcinogens. In addition, the national cancer institute has concluded that studies in people and lab research where exposure to this contaminant can lead to leukemia and myeloid leukemia in humans.
Methods For Removing Formaldehyde from Your Home
How to remove formaldehyde from the air in your indoor environment includes the following measures:
Make Use of Formaldehyde-Free Products
It is highly advised to get your hands on formaldehyde-free products. Such products reduce exposure to formaldehyde, an excellent practice for indulging in a healthy lifestyle.
Make sure to increase ventilation in the office/ home by just opening the windows.
You can also watch the heating ventilation air conditioning system, which cleanses the air by removing all bad air from the internal environment with fresh, clean air from outside to inside through an advanced filtration method.
Use Of Air Purifiers
What else you can do like me is install a top-notch air purifier. Air purifiers are an excellent investment for all who love inhaling fresh air without contaminants, pollutants, or dirt allergens. The air purifier cleans the air and removes all the polluted air.
Air purifiers help filter indoor air pollutants that travel in airspace with entrapment of contaminants in filter media that helps improve indoor air quality.
With a diverse range of air purifiers available in the market, some use ozone, carbon, or ionization. Air purifiers are designed to improve air quality by eliminating all chemicals, VOCs, fragrances, allergens, and odors.
Use Of Formaldehyde Cookouts
Formaldehyde cookouts are another stunning option to get rid of all formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a volatile gas that becomes more volatile under high humidity and temperature conditions.
Heating the room with high-formaldehyde material like carpets, paints, plywood, or furniture can reduce formaldehyde exposure. Once all formaldehyde is present in your room’s air, you can easily eliminate it using the ventilation system.
Use Of HEPA Filters
Use HEPA filters that are the best for trapping all the particles residing in the air and reducing the effects of formaldehyde in your home setting.
Use Of Activated Carbon Filter
You can also use an activated carbon filter within the air purifier, which helps reduce formaldehyde’s effects.
Use Of HCHO Level Meters
HCHO level meters are also available, which helps track indoor toxins and contaminants levels. With the introduction of hazardous air in the home setting, you must be vigilant enough to track the air quality.
Using an HCHO level meter helps you monitor air quality with ultimate measurement of total volatile organic compounds, humidity, and temperature levels.
Overall, the off-gassing levels of formaldehyde in the air depend on humidity and heat. Formaldehyde turns into a gas in the room temperature environment triggering the off-gassing of all chemicals within the air.
This entire process lasts for weeks to months. Therefore, formaldehyde is present in air spaces within the home at either high or low levels.
You can determine different formaldehyde levels in the environment through air quality meters that help detect the level of formaldehyde in the air.
How To Remove Formaldehyde from Your Clothing & Other Items
Removing formaldehyde from your clothing and other items is essential as it can trigger several health issues. So let’s dive into how I remove formaldehyde from clothing and other items.
Washing Your Clothes, A Cold-Water Cycle
You can set up the temperature dial over the washing machine during the cold-water cycle. Now fill up the drum with water with 1 cup of powdered milk.
Next, submerge your clothing having formaldehyde in cold water. Soak it for around 2-4 hours, and do not put additional clothing in the machine.
Next, turn your washer dial over the rinse and spin cycle. Now close its lid. Let your washing machine finish its cycle.
Use Of Baking Soda and Detergent for Getting Rid of Formaldehyde
Fill up your washing machine using cold water and add around 1/4th cup of the detergent with 1 cup baking soda. Now close your machine’s lid and allow the washer to agitate your clothing.
Use Of Vinegar for Getting Rid of Formaldehyde from Clothing:
Next, open the machine’s lid before your rinse cycle begins and put 1 cup of vinegar. Close its lid and let it finish, rinse and spin cycle.
White vinegar is a type of natural deodorizer that helps in brightening clothes. In addition, this ingredient helps in getting rid of the smell of formaldehyde.
Next, remove the clothing from the machine and hang your clothes out in direct sunlight away from heat. Let it dry for several hours.
Formaldehyde is a volatile organic compound that takes around 12 hours for off-gassing.
Let the clothes sit for over 12 hours to eliminate formaldehyde and other chemicals. Leave the clothes out in the sunlight to destroy the formaldehyde smell.
Can An Air Conditioner Remove Formaldehyde?
Air conditioners with heating systems help in removing formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is an air pollutant that can be released through air conditioners and air purifiers.
Air conditioners ensure that healthy air stays inside the room while the bad air full of contaminants is taken outside the room.
Air conditioners can also maintain moderate amounts of temperature with reduced humidity, limiting the intake of formaldehyde.
How Long Does Formaldehyde Stay in The Air?
The formaldehyde levels reduce after some time. Most of this formaldehyde is released within 2 years.
Although it’s partially off-gassing, it’s in such an amount that you can easily bear it. Moreover, it takes around 10 years or so to eliminate formaldehyde.
Can You Air Out Formaldehyde from Furniture?
For airing out formaldehyde from your furniture, it’s best to speed up the ventilation in that area, ensure the HVAC system, or open up the windows and doors using fans, air conditioners, and so on.
The off-gassing rate increases with high temperatures, so a heater might serve the purpose. Make sure to air out the new product-like furniture pieces to reduce the release of formaldehyde.
Apart from it, you can try doing is unwrap all your new furniture outdoors and ensure it sits out for at least one week. Make sure to unwrap dry-cleaning outdoors or within the detached garage.
Does Vinegar Neutralize Formaldehyde?
Getting rid of the formaldehyde smell is a common question we all receive? Finally, you have come to the right place to hear the answer to this question. White vinegar serves as a natural deodorizer, which helps brighten the clothes.
Make sure to add this kitchen ingredient to the washing machine to combat all formaldehyde in the washing machine. It doesn’t harm the clothes, but the acetic acid in vinegar can harm the washing machine.
You can also use vinegar to neutralize formaldehyde. It absorbs all Odors from the clothes by wiping the hard surface with dampened cloth in white vinegar and drying it.
Vinegar helps remove all tough Odors, but it is ineffective in thoroughly eliminating all formaldehyde smells.
Indoor air pollution is one of the major concerns, leading to adverse health effects like breathing issues, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, and son.
US Environmental Protection Agency shows that indoor air pollutant level is 2-5 times higher compared to outdoor levels.
The most detrimental air pollutant present in the indoor setting is formaldehyde. It is one of the colorless, strong, volatile gases easily released from the products used in construction.
When you buy new products and bring them to your home, without giving them thought, it starts releasing formaldehyde which is toxic to your body. Continuous exposure to such chemicals can lead to severe respiratory tract issues.
After reading this article, you’ll stay aware of the exposure to formaldehyde and try getting rid of it through the effective measures I have listed above. So, remove all formaldehyde from the air without delay to breathe fresh, clean air.