By Sarah Mack, Business Development Director at Prism Analytical Technologies, Inc.
Formaldehyde exposure risks recently came to the front of public awareness following a 2015 CBS 60 Minutes episode describing elevated formaldehyde levels from composite wood flooring manufactured in China. This issue led to general confusion and concern for home and
business owners who had laminate flooring installed in their buildings. Health concerns were heightened for all consumers who used similar products. Formaldehyde is on the minds of many (again).
Flooding Fan Mail
Web searches for Formaldehyde filled search engines, the email requests for quotes or scheduling sent with lightning fast speed, and phones rang for weeks and months. Indoor Air Professionals went scrambling to their labs for Formaldehyde testing options. Even though many could explain the general concerns of formaldehyde exposure, the public demanded numbers.
In general, for formaldehyde testing, the question of which technique and conditions give the most representative results is critical: passive (i.e., badge monitoring) vs active (i.e., pumped) sampling; room sampling vs product off-gas sampling vs. compliance testing. What to
consider for each:
Passive room sampling relies on diffusion of formaldehyde into a sampling device such as a badge. The badge typically needs to be in place at least 24 hours to get a valid reading. Passive sampling results typically have greater uncertainty because variations in air flow and environmental conditions can cause changes in the diffusion rate.
Read the complete article in the March/April 2017 issue of Healthy Indoors Magazine HERE.