Best Practices for Environmental Tobacco Smoke
- • Stop all smoking in homes and facilities.
- • Thoroughly clean all surfaces and ventilate as well as possible.
- 6. Formaldehyde is a colorless, pungent smelling gas that affects the eyes, nose, and throat and causes difficulty in breathing, asthma attacks, cancer, and death. It is found in new mobile homes, pressed wood products such as particle board and fiberboard, textiles including permanent press clothing, glue, furniture, insulation, household chemicals, preservatives, and combustion products including environmental tobacco smoke. In homes, the most common problem is pressed wood products used in subflooring, shelving, paneling, furniture, cabinets, plywood, and any other substances that contains resins with urea formaldehyde. The boards produced for outdoor use usually contain phenol formaldehyde, which does not release as much of the formaldehyde into the air but is still a health problem. When the products are new and there are high indoor temperatures or humidity, there is a greater release of the formaldehyde than when the products get older. Formaldehyde is also a byproduct of combustion, especially from unvented fuel-burning appliances such as gas stoves or kerosene space heaters. Formaldehyde exposure can cause watery eyes, burning eyes and throat, nausea, and difficulty in breathing, and may cause asthma attacks. It may also potentially cause cancer.