Flawed EPA Approach Threatens Formaldehyde Access for Key U.S. Industries


Access to a proven “building-block” chemical that consumers extensively rely on and powers some of the largest sectors of the economy is under threat due to scientifically unjustified over-regulation. The building block is formaldehyde, which is a naturally occurring substance made simply of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.

Due to its usefulness, formaldehyde is already one of the most well-studied, well-understood compounds in commerce. Federal agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and agencies across the World, all agree that formaldehyde is safe for use in a variety of applications.

Maintaining access to this vital chemistry is critical for agriculture, building and construction, automobile manufacturing and healthcare sectors, as well as the nation’s manufacturing capability, economic viability, health, safety and continuity of essential products and services. Unfortunately, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pursuing a rushed formaldehyde assessment and biased scientific review process that could upend economic progress and threaten public health.

What is formaldehyde?

All life forms — bacteria, plants, fish, animals and humans — naturally produce formaldehyde as part of normal metabolic functions. The human body produces approximately 1.5 ounces of formaldehyde per day as part of cell metabolism. It is naturally present in the environment and found in a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, meats, fish and beverages.

Formaldehyde does not accumulate in humans or the environment, plants or animals. Studies show that formaldehyde is quickly broken down by natural metabolic processes in the body, converted to carbon dioxide and exhaled. In the environment, formaldehyde is rapidly broken down in the air by moisture and sunlight or by bacteria in soil or water.

While formaldehyde is best known for its preservative and anti-bacterial properties critical for agriculture, formaldehyde-based chemistry is also used for a wide range of products in the building and construction, healthcare, and automotive sectors. Due to its usefulness, formaldehyde is one of the most well-studied, well-understood compounds in commerce.

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American Chemistry Council, 31-01-23
; https://www.americanchemistry.com/chemistry-in-america/news-trends/blog-post/2023/flawed-epa-approach-threatens-formaldehyde-access-for-key-us-industries