….if you know anything about formaldehyde, which apparently is not the case for most. Let’s solve that now:

air pollution

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) is formed from parts of several different US government agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The NTP lists formaldehyde as “known to be a human carcinogen.”

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is part of the World Health Organization (WHO). Its major goal is to identify causes of cancer. IARC has concluded that formaldehyde is “carcinogenic to humans” based on higher risks of nasopharyngeal cancer and leukemia.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), an electronic database that contains information on human health effects from exposure to various substances in the environment. The EPA has classified formaldehyde as a “probable human carcinogen.”

National Cancer Institute researchers have concluded that, based on data from studies in people and from lab research, exposure to formaldehyde may cause leukemia, particularly myeloid leukemia, in humans.

Source: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/intheworkplace/formaldehyde

As we close in on the final stages of the sprinter conversion, I am looking for plywood without formaldehyde. Purportedly, it exists.

After calling Truckee-Tahoe Lumber, Reno Lumber and, lastly, Home Depot I found a very scary reality. Here’s how it went.

“Hey, Happy Friday, do you all sell plywood with no formaldehyde?”

“Hhhmmm, good question, I am not sure. Hold on please. No we don’t.”

Naturally, that leads me to ask, “well do you know what is in your plywood?”

“I do not,” is the response with a bold stare in one instance and a confused mutter in others.

One group wanted to tell me that it had to be used because the plywood is structural.  Fear not, according to these guys because it ‘off gasses into the attic, which is vented’.  Good thing the attic is the only place is off gasses!!

This is a colossal WTF which, I guess, is really not that surprising after a bit of reflection.

Good thing there is one type of insulation that irreversibly bonds with formaldehyde after you encase your house in it.

Please be vigilant folks. Change occurs when you ask questions. When you don’t large organizations will happily add to their bottom line at your unwitting expense. Do not expect another person, the government, the private sector or the next generation to make these changes. Consumers are hugely powerful and you are one of them. Ask and you shall receive. Don’t ask and you may also receive……irreversibly detrimental ailments

PS : check out this great resource about common sources of VOCs in the home !

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