ATSDR - Toxic Substances - Formaldehyde
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Formaldehyde

CAS ID #: 50-00-0

Affected Organ Systems: Dermal (Skin), Gastrointestinal (Digestive), Immunological (Immune System), Respiratory (From the Nose to the Lungs)

Cancer Effects: Known to be a Human Carcinogen

Chemical Classification: Volatile organic compounds

Summary: At room temperature, formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable gas that has a distinct, pungent smell. It is also known as methanal, methylene oxide, oxymethyline, methylaldehyde, and oxomethane. Formaldehyde is naturally produced in small amounts in our bodies. It is used in the production of fertilizer, paper, plywood, and urea-formaldehyde resins. It is also used as a preservative in some foods and in many products used around the house, such as antiseptics, medicines, and cosmetics.

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  • ToxFAQs™

    Fact sheet that answers the most frequently asked questions about a contaminant and its health effects.

  • Public Health Statement

    Summary about a hazardous substance taken from Chapter One of its respective ATSDR Toxicological Profile.

  • Emergency Responders 

    Emergency Responders
  • Medical Management Guidelines (MMG) for Acute Chemical Exposure

    Publication intended to aid emergency department physicians and other emergency healthcare professionals who manage acute exposures resulting from chemical incidents.

  • Toxicological and Health Professionals 

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  • Toxicological Profile

    Succinctly characterizes the toxicologic and adverse health effects information for a hazardous substance.

  • Addendum to the Profile (PDF, 1810KB)

    Addendum to the Toxicological Profile for Formaldehyde (October 2010)

  • Priority List of Hazardous Substances

    Prioritization of substances based on a combination of their frequency, toxicity, and potential for human exposure at National Priorities List (NPL) sites.

  • Minimal Risk Levels (MRL)

    The MRL is an estimate of the daily human exposure to a hazardous substance that is likely to be without appreciable risk of adverse, non-cancer health effects over a specified duration of exposure. The information in this MRL serves as a screening tool to help public health professionals decide where to look more closely to evaluate possible risk of adverse health effects from human exposure.

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