With formaldehyde present in everything from paper, plywood and MDF to adhesives, cosmetics and cigarette smoke, it is impossible to eradicate exposure in everyday life. But a company specialising in air monitoring equipment has developed a monitor that will accurately measure levels of the potentially lethal gas.
Enviro Technology, which has introduced the monitor, said the gas can irritate eyes, mucous membranes and the upper respiratory system. Symptoms of low-level exposure include sore throats, runny nose, headaches and nausea. More seriously, the problems associated with acute exposure include abdominal pain, respiratory problems, pulmonary edema.
Widely used by industry to manufacture building materials, significant sources include pressed wood products made using adhesives that contain urea-formaldehyde (UF) resins.
Enviro Technology’s response is the GrayWolf FM-801, a portable, continuous measurement monitor that uses photoelectric photometry to read the absorbance change that formaldehyde induces in its sensor and then ‘re-zeroes’ between readings to enable continuous monitoring. It is also suitable for 30-minute spot checks.