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Tobacco Institute

Clean Your Room. A Compendium Describing a Wide Variety of Indoor Pollutants and Their Health Effects, and Containing Sage Advice to Both in the Matter of Cleaning Up, and Including a List of Experts Who Know What Talking About as Well as a Consumer Clean Up Kit Replete With a Body Chart

Date: Feb 1982
Length: 584 pages
TITX0022825-TITX0023409
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Date Loaded
13 May 1999
Type
REPORT
Author (Organization)
Consumer Affairs
Named Organization
Dept of Consumer Affairs
Ca Senate Health and Welfare Com
Joint Legislative Audit Com
Board of Architectural Examiners
Board of Registration for Professional
Contractors State Liscense Board
Structural Pest Control Board
Bureau of Home Furnishings
Board of Medical Quality Assurance
Office of Appropriate Technology
Dept of Health Services
Dept of Food and Agriculture
Dept of Industrial Relations
Dept of General Services
Air Resources Board
Office of the Fire Marshall
Building Standards Commission
Public Utilities Commmission
Engery Commission
San Francisco Social Services Dept
Environmental Protection Agency
American Society of Heating Refrigerat
Energy Commission
Natl Inst of Occupational Safety and H
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Congress
Hud
Epa
State of Ca
Federal Food and Drug Admin
Formaldehyde Inst
Div of Toxic Substances Control of Dep
Indoor Environmental Quality Task Forc
Lawrence Berkeley Lab
Ca Air Resources Board
Dept of Housing and Community Developm
Ashrae
Air and Industrial Hygiene Laboratory
Natl Academy of Sciences
St Elizabeths Hosp
Natl Inst of Mental Health
Dot
Occupational Health Clinic
Dept of Energy
Dept of Housing and Urban Development
Natl Inst of Environmental Health Scie
Nyu
Rockefeller Univ
Air and Industrial Hygiene Laboratory
Acgih
OSHA
Niosh
Sawyer and Sponner
Mine Safety and Health Admin
Dept of Transportation
Vianna and Polan
Edge and Choudhury
Greenberg and Lloyd Davies
Journal of the American Medical Assn
Asbestos Textile Inst
Natural Resources Defense Council
Consumer Product Saftey Commission
Mayo Clinic
Johns Manville
Raybestos Manhattan
State of Pa
Dept of Labor and Industry
Usphs
Keasbey and Mattison
State of in
Saranac Laboratory
Hartford Accident and Indemnity
Asbestos
American Surety
Travelers Insurance
Chief Inspector of Factories
Industrial Injuries Advisory Council
Hanna & Brophy
Anderson & Campagna
Natl Insulation Manufacturers
Site
TI Storage Box 775, Cb707
Named Person
Brown, E.G.
Lytle, A.A.
Spohn, R.B.
Polakoff, P.L.
Breysse, P.A.
Yost, M.
Krueger, A.P.
Traynor, G.W.
Shea, K.
Smith, C.
Edwards, G.
Clark, C.
Miksch, R.
Perhac, R.
Spitzer, H.
Dougherty, R.
Groth, E.N.
Nero, A.
Glantz, S.
Levin, H. 1
Levin, H. 2
Gould, S.
Higashi, P.
Caffrey, J.M.
Toyama, J.
Yee-Shiroi, L.
Paiva, P.
Duci, I.
Weir, J.
Wight, J.
Giordano, E.
Lau, Y.
Dickey, G.
Bailey, D.
Honda, L.
Knight, V.
Kreisel, J.
Howard, M.
Penter, S.
Gentry, L.
Jackson, D.
Zermeno, M.
Valtierra, L.
Wolf, L.
Gerzoff, S.
Greene, T.
Herold, V.
Hooper, J.
Jaffe, R.
Levin, H. 3
Mcnabb, J.
Moore, M.A.
Morris, L.
Ternahan, P.
Soyka
Bronowski, J.
Hollowell, C. 4
Fielding, J. 5
Natelson, B. 6
Bildstein 7
Duffy 8
Valic
Zuskin
Margolis
Bakanova
Selye
Kon, S.
Randolph
Spyker, J.
Chant
Hall
Brown, H.V.
Anderson
Hobbs
Hain
Cochrane And Webster
Wagner
Borow
Arul And Holt
Sigurdson
Kanarek 9
Selikoff, I.
Auribault, M.
Murray, H.M.
Pancoast, H.K.
Miller, T.G.
Landis Hrm
Hoffman, F.L.
Cooke, W.E.
Mcdonald, S.
Seiler, H.E.
Haddow, A.C.
Lynch, K.M.
Smith, W.A.
Merewether Era
Price, C.W.
Mills, R.G.
Soper, W.B.
Gardner, L.U.
Cummings, D.E.
Stewart, E.T. Al
Gloyne, S.R.
Russell, A.E.
Gardner, L.
Sander, O.A.
Ellman, P.
Donnelly, J.
Lanza
Brown
Simpson
Gray, R.N.
Wood, W.B.
Hobart
Judd
Egbert, D.S.
Fulton, W.B.
Lanza, A.J.
Mcconnell, W.J.
Fehnel, J.W.
Lynch, K.N.
Simpson, S.
Jeffords
Mizinski, J.
Mizinski, C.
Shull
Lynch, K.
Cali
Siket
Gibson, C.B. 10
Antellm, J.
Dreeson, W.C.
Vorwald, A.J.
Karr, J.W.
Dudzinski, S.
Ambrozwich
Haydu, J.
Kisley, M.
Kisley, S.
Torok, F.
Wargo, G.
Szabo, B.
Molner, S.
Vajanyi, A.
Tivadar, J.
Resko, J.
Brooks, C.
Fekete, A.
Sturm, J.F.
Lengyel, P.T.
Nichols, J.E.
Gyana, J.
Punyo, W.
Kornblut, A.
Poceluiko, A.
Crocco, P.
Crooks, B.
Gravell, E.
Holleb, H.B.
Angrist, A.
Hueper
Fleischer
Drinker
Gatke
Bowditch
Saranac
Kennaway
Willis, E.
Smith, K.
Conklin
Franchini
Crocco, M.
Crocco, A.
Crocco, J.
Frost
Ugeskr
Laeger
Stoll
Bass
Stokinger, H.E.
Rothwell
Isselbacher, H.
Sander
Hyatt, F.
Munger, L.
Breslow
Leicher
Luttenberger
Jackson, H.
Cuthbertson, J.
Campbell, E.
Fisher
Mclaughlin
Swartout, J.E.
Schwab, I.
Carey, P.
Frost, G.
Hartwig
Mccarrell, E.O.
Harke, H.
Schiedt
Coll, V.P.
Strickland, F.E.
Roley, J.W.
Braun, D.C.
Truan, T.D.
Pendergrass
Zini, R.
Campagna
Shepherd, J.
Spencer, T.B.
Gough
Thorsted, R.
Meggio, T. Bond
Viall, L.U.
Schiedt, R.C.
Keal
Dean, W.
Harding, C.P.
Streithorst, L.J.
Litigation
Texas AG
Author
Carlson, K.W.
UCSF Legacy ID
zos32f00

Annotations

1. Levin, H. Named Person
  • Affiliation:

    Univ of Ca

  • Affiliation:

    Board of Architectural Examiners

2. Levin, H. Named Person
  • Affiliation:

    Univ of Ca

  • Affiliation:

    Board of Architectural Examiners

3. Levin, H. Named Person
  • Affiliation:

    Univ of Ca

  • Affiliation:

    Board of Architectural Examiners

4. Hollowell, C. Named Person
  • Affiliation:

    Lawerence Berkeley Laboratory

5. Fielding, J. Named Person
  • Affiliation:

    Ucla

6. Natelson, B. Named Person
  • Affiliation:

    Nj Medical College

7. Bildstein Named Person
  • Affiliation:

    Oh State Univ

8. Duffy Named Person
  • Affiliation:

    Harvard Medical School

9. Kanarek Named Person
  • Affiliation:

    Public Health Dept of Univ of Ca Berke

10. Gibson, C.B. Named Person
  • Affiliation:

    Undercliffe Sanatarium

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TITX 0022989
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11. Gibbon, Edward. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Vol. 1. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1853. 12. Gilfillan, S.C. "Lead Poisoning and the Fall of Rome," Journal of Occupational Medicine, 7 (1965): 53-60. 13. Groth, Edward III. "Lead Poisoning: Still a Hazard." Unpublished paper prepared for Conference on Lead in the Urban Environment: A Continuing Hazard for Children, New York, June 15-16, 1981. 14. Lin-Fu, Jane S., "Lead Exposure Among Children: A Reassessment," New England Journal of Medicine, 300 (1979): 731-732. 15. Lin-Fu, Jane S., M.D. "Undue Lead Absorption and Lead Poisoning in Children - An Overview," International Conference on Heavy Metals in the Environment. Toronto, October 27-31, 1975, pp. 29-32. 16. Needleman, Herbert L. "Lead's Continuing Threat," The Washington Post, April 10, 1981. 17, Needleman, Herbert L., ed. Low Level Lead Exposure: The Clinical Implications of Current Research. N.Y.: Raven Press, 1980. 18. Needleman, Herbert L. and Philip J. Landrigan. "The Health Effects on Low Level Exposure to Lead," Annual Review of Public Health, 2(1981), 277-298. [This article contains an extensive bibliography.] 19. Needleman, Herbert L. et al. "Deficits in Psychologic and and Classroom Performance of Children with Elevated Dentine Lead Levels," New England Journal of Medicine, 300 (1979): 689-732. 20. Patterson, Claim C. "An Alternative Perspective - Lead, Pollution in the Human Environment: Origin, Extent, and Significance," in Lead in the Human Environment,. Committee on Lead in the Human Environment, Environmental Studies Board, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council. Washington, D.>C.: National Academy of Sciences, 1980. 21. Provenzano, George. "Social Costs and Excessive Lead Exposure During Childhood." Unpublished paper prepared for Conference on Lead in the Urban Environment: A Continuing Hazard for Children, New York, June 15-16, 1981. 22. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Final Environmental Impact Statement on Lead Content in Paint. 2 vols. Washington D.C.: Consumer Product Safety Commission, 1977. I I I, B. 2 4 TITX 0022988
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1939 !larch 23. Letter of Asbestos Magazine to Sumner Sispson (Raybestos-Man ttan) res Gardner's 1939 Gus Wargo v. Raybestos-Manhattan, Hartford Accident I N ~ preliminary works "of course, we understand that all this info on asbestos is to be kept confidential and that nothing should be published about " & Indemnity, The Travelers Insurance Ceslpany. Connecticut Asbestosis compensation claim of plant workert Settlement of $2,500.00 in 1939 asbestos in Asbestos Magazine at present. 1939 Benjamin Ssabo v. Baybestoa-Manhattan, Hartford 1939 May 4, Letter of Sumner Simpson to Brown (Johns- Accident i Indemnity Company, The American Surety Manville). Sumner Simpson (Raybestos-Manhattan) agrees that Gardner has violated their agreement. "the reports say be so favorable to us that they would cause us no trouble but they night be juat the opposite which 939 Company, Connecticut Asbestosis compensation claim of plant workert Settlement of $1,350.00 in 1939 Steve Molner v. Raybestos-Manhattan, Hartford 1939 could be very e.barassing." Letter of Asbestos Magazine to Sumner Simpson Accident i Indemnity Company, The American Surety Company, Connecticut (Raybeatoa- attan)i We have written you many times re: publishing on asbestos "always you have requested that 939 Asbestosia compensation claim of plant workerj Settlement of $3,000.00 in 1939 Andrew Vajanyi v. Raybestos-Manhattan, The Travelers for certain obvious reasons, we publish nothing, and naturally, your wishes haYe been respected." "Possibly, a discussion of it (asbestosis) along the right lines would serve to combat some of the rather undesirable publicity given to it 939 Insurance Company, Hartford Accident i Indemnity Company, The American Surety Company, Connecticut Asbestosis compensation claim of plant workeri Settlement of $4,250.00 in 1939 Joseph Tivadar v. Raybestos-Nsnhattan, The Travelers 1939 in current newspapers." Letter of Sumner Simpson (Raybestos-Manhattan) to Insurance Company, Hartford Accident a Indemnity Company, The American Surety Conpany, Connecticut Brown (Johns-panville) re: Dsbestos Magazine request Asbestosis compensation claim of plant workert ttl f S 2 00 0 i H H to publisbs "i think the less said about asbestos the 1939 en.nt o $ e ,5 .0 n 1939 John Resko v. Raybestos-Manhattan, The Travelers H ~ better off we are ..." Asbestos has "been very decent about not Insurance Company, Hartford Accident & Indemnity Company, The American Surety Company, Connecticut ' 1939 repr3ntTng the English articles." State of Washington enacts Workman's Compensation Asbestosis coapensation claim of plant workert Settlement of $1,0000.00 in 1939 Letter dated July 7, 1939 from Dr. Cole B. Gibson, v 1939 Law covering disease of asbestosis State of Maryland enacts Workaian's Com ensation Undercliffe Sanatarium, claims that the occupational history (thirteen years as asbestos weaver) suggests ossibilit of lmo a stosi Dr b Gib 939 y y p Law covering diseise of asbestosis John Baydu v. Rayyestos-llanhattan, The American p y pu . n ry as son e s. also claims the asbestosis condition improves when patient is removed from working environment. 1~ Surety Company, Hartford Accident i Indemnity and 1939 Charles Brooks v. Raybestos-lUnhattan, The American 0 The 3'ravelers Insurance Company, Connecticut Asbestosis compensation claim of plant wrkert Settiqient of $990.00 in 1939 Surety Company, Connecticut Asbestosis compensation claim of plant workert S.ttlement of $100.00 in 1939 0 1939 N Mary Eisley (widow of Stephen bisley) v. Raybestos- 1939 Alex Fekete v. Raybe.tos-Manhattan, The Hartford N ~ Manhattan, The Travelers Insurance Coopany, Hartford Accident i Indemnity Company, The American Surety Accident i Indemnity Company, The Aaericaa Surety Company, Connecticut 46 Company, Connecticut Asbestosis compensation claim of plant worker; ~Z Asbeseosis compensation claim of plant worker= Settlemeat of $956.00 in 1939 1939 Settlement of $300.00 in 1939 Joseph F. Sturm v. Raybestos-Manhattan, The Hartford 1939 Frank Torok v. Raybeatos-lianhattan, The Travelers Accident & Indemnity Company, The American Surety Insurance Company, Hartford Accident i Indemnity Coapany, The American Surety Ccmpany, Connecticut Asbeatosis compensation claim of plant workerl Settlesrnt of $2,000.00 in 1939 Company, Connecticut Aabestosis compensation claim of plant workeri Settlement of $600.00 in 1939 Letter dated September 15, 1939, from Dr. Paul T. Lengyel, Bridgeport, Ct., Bluish discoloration of lip and fingernails suggests cyanosis common in
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:ABLS 3 Federal kegulatory Actions ('.overning Human Exposure to Lead Medium through Which Bxposure Specific Exposure Pathway Being Occurs Federal Agency Controlled Federal Regulations Source Nonfood Substances Exposure of children to lead- Notification to purchasers and Lead-Based Lead paint in Nousiny and Urban based paint on surfaces of tenants of HUD-associated Paint housing Development residential structures . housing constructed prior to Poisoning 1950 of the hazards of lead- Prevention based paint poisoning. Act Lead paint in housing H H H 6 Lead in paint (~ and toys and N furniture with painted'surfaces HeA1th,Education, and Welfare Consumer Product Safety Commission Ecwirre~w~r~~t..l Protec- tion ivyc•ncy Exposure of children to lead based paint on surfaces of residential structures. Exposure of children to lead- based paint on surfaces of residential structures,toys and furniture. Exposure of the general Fwhulation and especially younq children(1-5yrs.)to airlK>rne lead from motor vohicles cnmbusting leaded gasolinc. Prohibition against the use of lead-based paint in HUD- associated housing Elimination of lead-based paint hazards in federally owned properties prior to sale for residential habitation. Prohibition against the use of lead-based paint in federal construction or rehabilitation of residential structures. Grants to develop local Same programs for detection and treatment of lead-based paint poisoning and for the identification and elimination of the hazards of lead paint in residential structures. containing more than 0.06 percent lead. (3) furniture that bears containing more than 0.06 percent lead. The following consumer Consumer products have been declared Product as banned hazardous Safety products: Act (1) paint and other similiar surface coatings containing more than 0.06 percent lead. (2) toys and other articles intended for use by children that bear paint paint No gasoline refiner shall exceed Clean an average lead content of 0.5g Air Ph/gal after October 1, 1975 • Act averaqed over a three-month period.
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LIS T OF WORKS CONS ULTE D 1. "Babies, Lead and Evaporated Milk," Consumer Reports, (May 1980): 293. 2. Billick, Irwin H., Anita S. Curran, M.D., and Douglas R. Shier. "Analysis of Pediatric Blood Levels in New York City for 197C-1976," Environmental Health Perspectives, 32 (1979): 183-190. 3. Billick, I.H., A.S. Curran, and D.R. Shier. "Relation of Pediatric Blood Lead Levels to Lead in Gasoline," Environmental Health Perspectives, 34 (1980): 213-217. 4. Billick, Irwin H. and V. Eugene Gray. Lead Based Paint Poisoning Research: Review and Evaluation, 1971-1977. Office of Policy Development and Research. Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of H-using and Urban Development, 1978. 5. California Air Resources Board. Air Quality Trends in the South Coast Air Basin Through 1979. February 1980. 6. California Department of Health Services. Progress Report on the Childhood Lead Project. Vol 2, 1979. 7. Chapman, Robert E. and Joseph G. Kowalski. Guidelines for Cost-Effective Lead Paint Abatement. NBS Technical Note 971. Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce, 1979. 8. Chapman, Robert E. and Joseph G. Kowalski. Lead Paint Abatement Costs: Some Technical and Theoretical Considerations. NBS Technical Note 979. Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce, 1979. 9. Committee on Lead in the Human Environment, Environmental Studies Board, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council. Lead in the Human Environment. Washington D.C.: National Academy of Science, 1980. [This report cites all the major studies on lead through 1979.1 9A. "Controlling the Lead We Eat," Advance Notice, 1 (1982), 4-5. 10. Ember, Lois R., "Environmental Lead: Insidious Health Problem," Chemical and Engineering News, 58 (June 23, 1980): 28-35. I I I. B. 2 3 TITX 0022987
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Responsible control of this indoor contaminant presents a number of major cnallenges. The first is choice of strategy. Indoor formaldehyde levels can be reduced by increasing ventilation rates or by reducing emissions at their source, or both. Increasing ventila- tion rates potentially increases energy costs for heat- ing and cooling. Point source reductions can be made to some extent without substantially increasing consumer costs. However, at some point, costs will increase if this strategy is pursued exclusively. The second major challenge is the ubiquity of the products containing formaldehyde. A mobilehome with low emission particle board may not cause irritation to residents. But the addition of carpeting with formalde- hyde backing, a combustion appliance, or tobacco smoking may send ambient levels above what is considered safe. Control of this pollutant will require conceptualization of a building as a system including several potential sources of this pollutant as well as the structure's natural and mechanical ventilation mechanisms. Most perplexing of all is the question of what level of this pollutant is safe. Formaldehyde is a powerful irritant. However, most people will not notice this pollutant if concentrations are maintained at levels at or below 0.1 parts per million (ppm). But even at this low, but achievable, level, some portion of the population may be affected, primarily in terms of irritation, by formaldehyde. The public policy question is how much should be done to protect a relative minority, and at what cost. Formaldehyde is not only an irritant; it may also cause chronic or long-term health problems. A "chronic" health problem continues after formaldehyde exposure stops. Highly speculative extrapolations of data based on the incidence of nasal cancers in laboratory rats and mice suggest that relatively safe levels of exposure may be in the range of fractional parts per billion (10). If this level of formaldehyde is to be assured, a number of formaldehyde generating products will have to be banned outright. Current data on chronic health hazards associated with formaldehyde is limited. This presents one of the classic problems of toxic substances control, that is, at what point in the development of scientific understanding of the health effects of a commercially important chemical is public action necessary? I II . C. 2 TITX 0022991
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Chapter III. C FORMALDEHYDE 1. INTRODUCTION Formaldehyde is one of the most publicized of all indoor pollutants. Its ettects are dramatic. Ottice workers and homeowners exposed to this chemical in the indoor environment have experienced tearing, respiratory irritation, nausea, nose bleeds, and other symptoms (10, 11, 12). A number ot Californians have had to abandon their homes because of exposure to this highly irritating pollutant (33, 32). Formaldehyde may also have chronic or long term effects. It is a suspected carcinogen and in bacteriological studies has ueen related to mutagenic and teratogenic changes (20). Problems with this pollutant have been closely associated with two major consumer products, mobile homes and urea formaldehyde foam insulation. In mobile hoines, the principal apparent source of formaldehyde contamina- tion is indoor grade particle board containing a urea formaldehyde resin adhesive. Because of the associa- tion of formaldehyde poilution with mobile homes, this problem was first described in the United States as "mobile home syndrome or disease"(12). Urea formaldehyde foam insulation is a plastic foam product injected into the sidewalls of conventional homes and is an effective insulator. Use of this product peaked in 1977 when more conventional insulation products were in short supply. When improperly com- pounded or installed, this product can emit significant quantities of formaldehyde. This has lead to the ban of this product in Massachussetts, Connecticut and Canada as well as a proposed ban at the federal level (20).* Although these products have received the most attention, formaldehyde is widely used in a large number of other consumer products including textiles, particu- larly permanent press fabrics, and building materials, particularly plywood, carpeting, and molded plastics. Annual domestic production of this chemical is measured in t.he billions of pounds (42). Formaldehyde is also produced by combustion. Tobacco smoking as well as use of gas stoves, wood stoves, and kerosene space heaters generate significant quantities of this pollutant (29). These sources of formaldehyde are discussed in Chapters III E and F. * Editor's Note. The sale of urea formaldehyde foam insulation was banned by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on February 22, 1982. Subject to a potential Congressional veto, this ban will be effective later in 1982. I I I. C. 1 TITX 0022990
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when heated) and thermosetting (becomes hard and unmoldable once sub)ected to heat) resins can be produced by varying the amount of formaldehyde, the conditions of the catalyst, and temperature. Urea formaldehyde resin, used to produce urea formaldehyde foam insulation as well as indoor grade plywood and particle board, is produced by reacting urea with formaldehyde. An excess of formaldehyde in the reaction, though it speeds up production and makes slightly less expensive the final resin, results in unreacted formaldehyde which slowly diffuses out of the product (16). In addition to unreacted formaldehyde, formaldehyde can be generated through hydrolysis of urea formaldehyde resins. Hydrolysis is a chemical reaction in which a compound reacts with the ions of water. With the absorption of moisture, formaldehyde is steadily formed and released from the resin through this process. Hydrolysis accelerates with increases in temperature and humidity (16). In the case of particle board and plywood, hydrolysis is exacerbated by the acidity of the wood species which are bound together by a urea formaldehyde resin adhesive to create these products (42). It is said that the "urea formaldehyde bond is weak"(13). Such comments are by and large premised on the effect of hydrolysis on this resin. Essentially hydrolysis reverses the process by which urea formaldehyde resin is polymerized to release formaldehyde. Hydrolysis is believed to be the reason for long term emission of formaldehyde (42). Other formaldehyde-based resins are extremely resistant to hydrolysis (16). Phenolic resins (a reac- tion of phenol and formaldehyde) are used for outdoor applications, exterior grade plywood for example. Although somewhat more costly than urea formaldehyde resins, phenolic resins have been suggested as an alter- native to urea formaldehyde resins for applications in which indoor pollution may be a problem because of their essential immunity from hydrolysis (16). Phenolic and melamine (a reaction of melamine and formaldehyde resins) resins are used to produce molded and extruded plastic parts. Because these products are I I I. c. 4 TITX 0022993
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made under high pressure, essentially no formaldehyde is released through their non-porous surfaces (16). Polyacetal resins (created by polymerization of formaldehyde or trioxane) are stable under normal con- ditions but at high temperatures, such as during a fire, decompose and release formaldehyde (16). 3. HEALTH EFFECTS A. OVERVIEW Human health effects of exposure to formaldehyde can be divided into irritation effects and chronic or long term health problems. Irritation related health problems generally cease as soon as exposure is term- inated. For most consumers, irritation is the primary health problem associated with formaldehyde. Irritation related health problems include eye and respiratory irritation, nausea, nose bleeds, inability to sleep, and disorientation (33,32,12,20,16). For those trapped in a formaldehyde rich environment through ownership of a house or mobilehome or because of employment, irritation can be a serious and continuing health problem. Chronic or long term health problems remain after exposure to formaldehyde stops. This class of health problems potentially includes cancer as well as terato- genic and mutagenic effects (20,17,44). The cause- effect relationship of formaldehyde exposure and these problems is still the subject of considerable research and controversy. A conclusive association of low dose exposure to this pollutant with any of these problems could result in serious economic dislocations in the formaldehyde industry. This explains, in part, industry attacks on scientists who assert such relationships. Most recently, Science reported on industry efforts to have an OSHA scientist fired for opining that formaldehyde is a carcinogen in humans (45). Such tactics call into question this industry's objectivity in reporting health problems with formal- d=hyde. Since many important studies are funded by the formaldehyde industry, such tactics are disquieting. Even so, industry-sponsored studies are included in this section. However, where a study was sponsored by the formaldehyde industry, this is noted. TITX 0022994 III.C. 5 12-7so66
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It is the conclusion of this chapter that more research on chronic health hazards associated with 1ow dose exposures to this pollutant is required before controls beyond those addressing irritation problems should be imposed. This is a considered judgment. Equally legitimate is the conclusion that current data are sufficient to support more drastic steps on the theory that any error should be on the side of public safety. However, several formaldehyde-based products are low cost building materials. Balancing trie consumer interest in lower cost housing against the limited current information on chronic health effects, our conclusion is that formaldehyde-based building products should stay on the market, if irritation-related health problems are eliminated. This conclusion would change radically it further research, which must proceed on an expedited basis, more definitively establishes that a serious chronic health hazard or hazards, as distinguished form irritation related health problems, is associated with low dose exposures to this contaminant. 2. PHYSICAL PROPERTIES Formaldehyde is the most commercially important member of a chemical family known as aldehydes. This family of chemicals is defined by the presence of the formyl functional group - CHO (16). Monomeric formaldehyde is designated by the molecular formula HCHO (57). Monomeric formaldehyde is a colorless gas that condenses to form a liquid which boils at -19°C. It forms a solid at -118°C. Under normal temperature conditions, HCHO is a pungent gas that irritates the eyes, nose, and respiratory tract (16). Trioxane is a chrystaline solid form of formalde- hyde with the chemical formula of C3H603. Paraformal- dehyde (HOCH2OH) is a colorless granular form of formal- dehyde with the same irritating qualities as monomeric formaldehyde (16). Formalin is an aqueous solution of formaldehyde (16). This is the major form in which formaldehyde is marketed and in commercial form contains 37 to 50% formaldehyde by weight. Formalin also generally contains 6 to 15% methanol to repress polymerization. Formaldehyde is commercially significant because it forms resinous products when combined with other chemi- cals, including alcohols, amines, phenols and hydro- carbons (16). Both thermoplastic (soft and moldable I I I• C• 3 TITX 0022992

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