Eco Mama

Podcast #8 - Is there really formaldehyde in my house?

November 04, 2022 Jaime Snell Season 1 Episode 8
Eco Mama
Podcast #8 - Is there really formaldehyde in my house?
Show Notes Transcript

Focus Fridays Ingredients Series with a Deep Dive on Formaldehyde. 

Is there Formaldehyde in your home? Chances are, the answer is yes. Listen to today's podcast to find out where it might be hiding and some ways to minimize or avoid it.

As promised, here are the other terms sometimes listed on ingredient labels formaldehyde is also known as Formalin, Formic aldehyde, Methanediol, Methanal, Methyl Aldehyde, Methylene Glycol, Methylene Oxide, Benzyl Hemiformal, 2-Bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol(bronopol), 5-Bromo-5-Nitro-1,3-dioxane, Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, 1,3-dimethylol-5,5-dimethylhlydantoin (DMDM hydantoin), Quaternium-15.

Be sure to subscribe, so we never miss a chance to connect. And come back next Tuesday, where I will give you the down-and-dirty effects of food coloring and what it does to our bodies, minds, and children.

Thank you for listening to the Eco Mama podcast. Please note that this podcast's information is for educational and entertainment purposes only and is based on personal experiences and opinions. We are not licensed healthcare providers; the content should not be considered professional medical advice.

We encourage you to consult a healthcare provider before changing your diet, exercise routine, or lifestyle. The information shared on this podcast is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Furthermore, any views or opinions expressed on this podcast are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual. The content is intended to be informative and enjoyable.

By listening to this podcast, you agree that the hosts, guests, or anyone associated with the Eco Mama podcast will not be held liable for any loss, damage, or injury caused or alleged to be caused by the information or opinions shared on this podcast.

Thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to continuing to share our journey toward a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle with you.


Hello Eco Mamas. Happy Friday. Welcome to another episode of our ingredients series, where we do a deep dive on a different ingredients every week. This Friday just so happens to be formaldehyde. You might be familiar with this term, if you ever watched six feet under. It was a Showtime series, Where it was all about a funeral home. Formaldehyde is commonly known as the chemical that is put inside cadavers. To help preserve the body until it is time to be buried. So it keeps kind of a fresh supple look on the skin and keeps the smell from getting too bad as the corpse rots after. A person dies. So that they can have a funeral, an open casket funeral. Most of the And then the body is buried. And if formaldehyde lasts a little while it doesn't preserve forever. But it does a good enough job for the purposes of why they have it. Now you might be wondering. Why I'm talking about formaldehyde when this is a podcast about ingredients and our everyday products. Well surprise, surprise. Formaldehyde is an ingredient in our everyday products. It is used as a preservative. And the products that you know, and love every day. Did you know that? Since formaldehyde is odorless. It's not so easy to detect. But it's still there. Nonetheless. In addition to the products that I'm going to share with you, formaldehyde is also used on furnishings, clothing, building materials. A whole slew of things. So it's very difficult to know where it is and what it's in, and it's rarely ever listed on the ingredients. Under the name formaldehyde, it's known as other things that you might recognize more easily, but formaldehyde is kind of one of those scary words. So most manufacturers that are using it in our products. Are smart enough to leave that word out. But I will share with you shortly other names that it has been known by. So when I mentioned that it's on your furnishings, formaldehyde can be found in most newly created things. As that preservatives, I mentioned, so new construction. Most times we'll have it in their finished wood products. Flooring has it in there. Even some fabrics will be treated with formaldehyde. So upholstery drapery flooring, furniture cabinets. You can find formaldehyde or traces of it in there because they're used in glues and paints. They're even used in clocks and pesticides. And then what we talk about most here they're used in cosmetics and detergents. So everywhere you turn in your home, there's a chance that formaldehyde was once used on those The older, the product is the more chance you have of offgassing or the formaldehyde fading away and not being so harmful. One of the biggest suggestions I can make, if you're concerned about formaldehyde inhaling it. Putting it on your skin breathing it, Which I think you should be, is to open your windows as often as possible, especially if you had new furniture put If you are delivered, if you've had new flooring, new carpeting. Even new paint, unless you were very clear about what was in the paint and the primer. If you've had drywall work done or new insulation, all of this open up your windows homes built after the 1990s. We're super, super efficient to where they created them. I was like a vacuum seal. Like the airflow was meant to stay inside the home. And that's beneficial when you're trying to save on energy. Okay. So when your air conditioning runs, it doesn't leak out. The windows are under the doors. Same with the heater. It stays warm in the winter. But the downside to that is that the house no longer breathes, it has no space to contract. And compress. So the breathing process or the exchange of air that used to happen in homes. It's very difficult to happen on its own now. So it is our responsibility to take care of that airspace, that indoor air quality that we breathe in every single day. So if you're not opening up your windows periodically throughout the year, It's just building in there and you're continuing to breathe it in. That's the best thing that you can do. There's also air purifiers that you can get that will help cleanse the air. We have them in several rooms in our home. We use them, especially when someone is sick. We put them by the bed. Most recently my son did have the flu and he slept with me and thank goodness I like survived unscathed, but I literally, I had an air purifier on my side of the bed. An air purifier on my husband said it where my son slept. And I didn't want him sleeping by himself because he got like almost 104 degree fever. And I know with higher fevers, you can. You know, you're dealing with possible seizures. And so I didn't want him to be alone. So I had him sleep with me. We used air purifiers. Just to help cleanse the air that we breathe in and breathe out. So in the glues, I mentioned You'll find it in a lot of the compressed woods or wood cabinetry. Not your natural woods. And especially if you buy furniture from the Amish, like that is the way to go because they don't use chemicals. They use real wood, like. They're not treating those products. I mean, it's, it's a true art, you know, they're not, they D they don't dumb down their furniture with Prestwood and manufactured stuff. So I mentioned that it's on our clothes too. When you go to the dry cleaners. Dry cleaners will use formaldehyde because it creates this It relaxes all the wrinkles in your clothes and your curtains and your comforters. And it's just this process that preserves the neatness What we should say. So they're, they're using that. They're applying it. And also if you have ever bought Pants that. R no iron they're wrinkled free fabrics. Those are also treated with formaldehyde. Again, this is an odorless chemical, so it's really difficult to detect. So if it says that it is wrinkle-free, I suggest not getting it. And I'm not one to iron. So I just try to keep things hung up that might easily get wrinkled. Signs that you could have formaldehyde in your home. It's, it's really difficult to detect as I mentioned, but over time, the more you're exposed to it, the sticker you can get actually, funeral directors have very high rate of leukemia. So there's like this long-term cancer leukemia that they get because of their exposure to the formaldehyde. Formaldehyde can affect the body in many ways, even though you may not know that it's happening. Over time and repeated exposure. Or prolonged exposure. The body will begin to repulse the formaldehyde and it will burn the nostrils. Again, you can't smell it. So you don't know what's causing your nostrils to burn. If formaldehyde, God forbid, has ever drank. It can immediately like make the body so sick that cancer starts to develop. Very very soon. So I think we should leave formaldehyde for the cadavers and not for the individuals, not for the people. I don't think it should be used in our products. To preserve them, but they are. So let's get to the talk on the products. Formaldehyde is often used on products. To preserve it, as I mentioned, and in that preserving process, it's usually like products with high water concentration. That's needed most. So, if you think of like your shampoos and your conditioners, those are two common products that often will be treated with formaldehyde for the preservation. You're going to find formaldehyde end include face creams, moisturizers. I mentioned the shampoo. Now bodywash is a common one, too. You can easily avoid that just by using a clean bar of soap, something that is made by one of your local farmer's markets guys. No fragrance, of course, but so that one's easy to do to avoid. Body lotions, soaps. Of course embalming fluid, as I mentioned. And then this one scares me guys. It's used in bubble baths. Now who uses bubble bass notes. Well, I use it a lot, but it's my kids, our children, babies, they love bubble baths. It makes it so much fun. I can't argue with that. However, you got to be careful there. So many people are soaking their children and formaldehyde and don't even know it. It really, really scares me. So other things that can do to the body, is it that it can compromise your immune system, and cause of respiratory infections and uneven heartbeat, fatigue, headaches, DNA damage. I mentioned a leukemia. So it does cause cancer, asthma. Neuro toxicity and even developmental toxicity. These have all been linked to formaldehyde. You know, directors who in bomb are found to have the highest risk of myeloid leukemia. So as with the other ingredients guys, I mean, I hope you're on, on team eco here because formaldehyde is just, there's nothing good about it. And if they say, oh, there's nothing that says it directly causes these problems. Listen, there's enough studies out there, that's linking, formaldehyde. To these other health issues. And I think I'm just better without it. So I say, no, thank you to formaldehyde.

So I'm almost done, but before I go, I want to make sure that I share with you some of those terms that I mentioned of what formaldehyde is also known as. And it's a bit tricky because a lot of these words are hard to pronounce. So please forgive me. If I make any mistakes here, I'm still learning. Along with everyone else in this world. So here's some names that you might see. And again, if I butcher these, then I'm copying and pasting everything down into the show notes. So you can find it there. But, needless to say four Malin formic aldehyde method, needle method. Now methyl aldehyde methylene glycol, methylene oxide. Binzel hemithorax. To Bramo to nitrile propane one. Three dial Rono Paul. Five Bruno five nitro, one. Hey, you know, I'm just gonna post it down below because it just goes on and on. And you're going to say, what language is she speaking? When I haven't seen before is the Quaker Niamh 15. That's one other one I mentioned because I've seen that on labels before. So look in the show notes for the exact spelling yen. Then other names that formaldehyde is known as again, it's very rarely. Listed as formaldehyde on the ingredients list. So you want to look for one of these other names or remember, it can always be hidden in fragrance.


And that is all I have for you today. I want to encourage you to check back next Tuesday because I will be sharing all that I have learned about the world of artificial coloring. And what it does to our bodies and our minds. Especially our children. It's going to be a really good topic. I. So chime back in. Thank you so much for your time today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Bye. Bye.