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Formaldehyde is a sensitizer to both skin and respiratory tract. Developing a sensitization to formaldehyde may result also in a cross sensitization to other aldehydes that may be found in perfumes and other formulations commonly encountered. Formaldehyde may be found in combustion products such as tobacco smoke and engine exhaust, in plywood and particle board used in construction, in furniture, in urea-formaldehyde foam used for insulation, in some clothing, and in latex paints, among other sources. Formaldehyde is known to produce an asthma-like respiratory sensitization including chronic bronchitis. It is a known animal carcinogen (and probably human carcinogen) reported to produce nasopharyngeal cancers, Hodgkin’s Disease, blood dyscrasias including lymphomas and leukemias, cancers of the brain, colon, liver, and other organ systems. Dr. Parent has participated in many cases involving formaldehyde and has accumulated a sizeable database of scientific publications, some of which are provided below.

Selected References

Acheson, E. D., Barnes, H. R., Gardner, M. J., Osmond, C., Pannett, B. and Taylor, C.  P., Formaldehyde praocess workers and lung cancer [letter]. Lancet, 1(8385), 1066-1067 (1984).

Alexandersson, R. and Hedenstierna, G., Pulmonary function in wood workers exposed to formaldehyde: a propective study. Archives of Environmental Health, 44(1), 5-11 (1989).

Andersen I . Lundqvist GR . Molhave L,, Indoor air pollution due to chipboard used as a construction material. Atmospheric Environment, 9, 1121-1127 (1975).

Andersen, K. E., Bundgaard, H. and Johansen, M., Allergic contact dermatitis from formaldehyde in Fucidin ointment. Contact Dermatitis, 9(1), 78-79 (1983).

Andersen, S. K., Jensen, O. M. and Oliva, D., Exposure to formaldehyde and cancer of the lung in Danish doctors. Ugeskrift for Laeger, 144, 1571-1573 (1982).

Anonymous, Urea-formaldehyde foam gets the axe for home insulation. Chemical Week, 130(9), 12-13 (1982).

Anonymous, Mobile home research: an evaluation of formaldehyde problems in residential mobile homes. US Department of Commerce, Department of Housing and Urban Development, NTIS PB81-175499, 165 pages, April (1980).

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registrsy (ATSDR), Toxicological profile for formaldehyde. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registrsy (ATSDR), US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 468 pages, July (1999).

Bardana, Jr., E. J., Formaldehyde: hypersensitivity and irritant reactions at work
and in the home. Immunology and Allergy Practice, 2(3), 11-23 (1980).

Barrow, C. S., Steinhagen, W. H., Chang, J. C. F., Formaldehyde sensory irritation. In:  Formaldehyde Toxicity. Gobson, J. E. (ed). Hemisphere Publishing, Washington, DC, 16-25 (1983).

Berger JM . Lamm SH,, Health hazards of formaldehyde. Health hazards of formaldehyde. Lancet, 1, 1264 (1981).

Bertazzi, P. A., Pesatori, A. C., Radice, L., Zocchetti, C. and Vai, T., Exposure to formaldehyde and cancer mortality in a cohort of workers producing resins. Scandanavian Journal of Work Environmental Health, 12(5), 461-468 (1986).

Blair, A., Saracci, R., Stewart, P. A., Hayes, R. B. and Shy, C., Epidemiologic evidence on
the relationship between formaldehyde exposure and cancer. Scandanavian Journal of Work Environmental Health, 16(6), 381-393 (1990).

Bosetti, C., McLaughlin, J. K., Tarone, R. E., Pira, E. and La Vecchia, C., Formaldehyde and cancer risk: a quantitative review of cohort studies through 2006. Annals of Oncology, 19(1), 29-43 (2008).

Breysse, P. A., Wilson, Jr., J. T. Formaldehyde exposure following urea formaldehyde insulation. Environmental Health and Safety, 26(1-12), 1-13 (1978).

Breysse, P. A., The environmental problems of urea-formaldehyde structures- formaldehyde exposure in mobile homes. Occupational Safety and Health Symposia, 56-63 (1979)

Cole, P. and Axten, C., Formaldehyde and leukemia: an improbable causal relationship. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 40(2), 107-112 (2004).

Collins, J. J. and Lineker, G. A., A review and meta-analysis of formaldehyde exposure and leukemia. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 40(2), 81-91 (2004).

Frigas, E., Filley, W. V. and Reed, C. E., Asthma induced by dust from urea-formaldehyde foam insulating material. Chest, 79(6), 706-707 (1981).

Garry, V. F., Oatman, L., Pleus, R. and Gray, D., Formaldehyde in the home  Some
environmental disease perspectives. Minnesota Medicine, 63(2), 107-111 (1980).

Glass, W. I., An outbreak of formaldehyde dermatitis. New Zealand Medical Journal, 60, 423-427 (1961).

Godish, T., Fell, J. and Lincoln, P., Formaldehyde levels in New Hampshire urea-formaldehyde foam insulated houses. Relationship to temperature. Journal of the Air Pollution Control Association, 34(10), 1051-1052 (1984).

Godish, T., Formaldehyde and building-related illness. Journal of Environmental Health, 44(3), 116-121 (1981).

Hansen, J. and Olsen, J. H., Formaldehyde and cancer morbidity among male employees in Denmark. Cancer Causes and Control, 6(4), 354-360 (1995).

Harris, J. C., Rumack, B. H. and Aldrich, F. D., Toxicology of urea formaldehyde and polyurethane foam insulation. Journal of the American Medical Association, 245(3), 243-246 (1981).

Hendrick, D. J., Formaldehyde asthma: challenge exposure levels and fate after five years. Journal of Occupational. Medicine, 24(11), 893-897 (1982).

Jensen, O. M., Cancer risk from formaldehyde. Lancet, 2, 480-481 (1980).

Konopinski, V. J., Seasonal formaldehyde concentrations in an office building. American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal, 46(2), 65-68 (1985).

Kreiger, N., Formaldehyde and nasal cancer mortality. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 128(3), 248-249 (1983).

Liebling, T., Rosenman, K. D., Pastides, H., Griffith, R. G. and Lemeshow, S., Cancer mortality among workers exposed to formaldehyde. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 5, 423-428 (1984).

Lindskov, R., Contact urticaria to formaldehyde. Contact Dermatitis, 8, 333-334 (1982).

Linos, A., Blair, A., Cantor, K. P., Burmeister, L., VanLier, S., Gibson, R. W., Schuman, L. and Everett, G., Leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma among embalmers and funeral directors. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 82(1), 66 (1990).

Marsh, G. M., Stone, R. A. and Henderson, V. L., Lung cancer mortality among industrial workers exposed to formaldehyde: a poisson regression analysis of the National Cancer Institute study. American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal, 53(11), 681-691 (1992).

Marsh, G. M. and Youk, A. O., Reevaluation of mortality risks from leukemia in the formaldehyde cohort study of the National Cancer Institute. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 40(2), 113-124 (2004).

Marsh, G. M. and Youk, A. O., Reevaluation of mortality risks from nasopharyngeal cancer in the formaldehyde cohort study of the National Cancer Institute. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 42(3), 275-283 (2005).

O'Quinn, S. E. and Kennedy, C. B., Contact dermatitis due to formaldehyde in clothing textiles. Journal of the American Medical Association, 194(6), 123-126 (1965).

Partanen, T., Kauppinen, T., Luukkonen, R., Hakulinen, T. and Pukkala, E., Malignant lymphomas and leukemias, and exposures in the wood industry: an industry-based case-referent study. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 64(8), 593-596 (1993).

Schorr, W. F., Allergic skin reactions from cosmetic preservatives. American Perfume and Cosmetics, 85, 39-47 (1970).

Stroup, N. E., Blair, A. and Erikson, G. E., Brain cancer and other causes of death in anatomists. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 77(6), 1217-1224 (1986).

LaCagnin, L. B., Connor, H. D., Mason, R. P. and Thurman, R. G., The carbon dioxide anion radical adduct in the perfused rat liver: relationship to halocarbon-induced toxicity. Molecular Pharmacology, 33(3), 351-357 (1988).

Zhang, L., Steinmaus, C., Eastmond, D. A., Xin, X. K. and Smith, M. T., Formaldehyde exposure and leukemia: A new meta-analysis and potential mechanisms. Mutatation Research, 681(2-3), 150-168 (2009).

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