by Kate Raines
Formaldehyde is a recognized carcinogen and health threat.
As represented by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), a number of watchdog agencies including the American Cancer Society, the FDA, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and others have classified formaldehyde as a known or probable cancer-causing agent, or carcinogen, and OSHA adds that it is not only a “complete carcinogen” but also “a sensitizing agent that can cause an immune system response upon initial exposure.” It is known to be highly irritating to the eyes and respiratory tissues and skin, particularly with repeated exposure.
Because of its classification as a toxin and carcinogen, strict guidelines are in place to define acceptable levels of formaldehyde, particularly for people considered to be at higher risk due to their environment (those living in FEMA emergency housing trailers or RVs, for example, or those with new carpeting), or to their professions (embalmers, hair stylists using certain products and medical lab technicians among others). (Source)
For workers at risk of exposure to high levels of formaldehyde vapors, OSHA recommends annual training to alert workers to the dangers of exposure above recommended concentrations (formaldehyde levels above 0.1 parts per million, or ppm, can cause respiratory irritation and levels above 0.5 ppm constitute an “action level” warranting “initiation of worker medical surveillance”).
For the general population, the dangers of formaldehyde exposure have not raised significant concerns among regulatory circles, though there is no shortage of expert advice on minimizing exposure to the poison.
The NCI recommends using exterior-grade pressed wood products (such as plywood, paneling, and particle board), ensuring adequate ventilation with use of formaldehyde-emitting products, and minimizing humidity in the home. (Source)
California’s Air Resources Board adds that it is important to avoid cigarette smoke in enclosed spaces as well as fully ventilating spaces while using cosmetics that may include formaldehyde, such as nail polish and polish hardeners, when painting or putting up wallpaper, and during use of any type of gas-heating source (gas, kerosene or propane stoves as well as wood-burning stoves). That resource also recommends washing permanent press clothing to minimize formaldehyde inhalation.
Little Is Known About Injected Formaldehyde
In the majority of studies, human data on the toxic effects of formaldehyde refer to the compound inhaled as a gas, and it is generally reported to be essentially harmless and easily metabolized, with most governing bodies agreeing that the small amounts inhaled, ingested, or injected in vaccines are safe for even the smallest of infants.
A model-based study, “assuming metabolism at the site of injection only,” reported that “formaldehyde is essentially completely removed from the site of injection within 30 minutes,” and used that modeling data to predict that infant systemic levels would reflect less than 1% of the usual environmental exposure level.
The Food and Drug Administration reports that, “There is no evidence linking cancer to infrequent exposure to tiny amounts of formaldehyde via injection as occurs with vaccines.”
What they do not seem to consider is that infants are systematically given multiple doses of vaccines at one time, so it is the combined level of formaldehyde exposure that needs to be calculated, not the amount in a single vaccine dose.
According to Dr. Sherri J. Tenpenny’s Integrative Medical Center, by the time a child has reached 5 years of age, he or she has been injected with a total of 1,795 micrograms (mcg), or 1.795 milligrams of formaldehyde, as follows:
-Hepatitis b – 3 doses x 15 mcg each
-DTaP – 5 doses x 100 mcg each
-Polio (IPV) – 5 doses x 200 mcg each
-Influenza – 6 doses x 25 mcg each
-Hepatitis A – 1 dose x 100 mpg each
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