What is CH2O

Substance groupAliphatic (chain) hydrocarbon,
VVOC are very volatile organic compoundsformulaH-CHO or CH2Opropertiescolorless, pungent smelling gas,
Odor threshold less than 1ppm,
very responsive,
aqueous solution is formalin (disinfectant)EmergenceFormaldehyde occurs as a breakdown product in nature and as a product of incomplete combustion and is mainly present in higher concentrations in car exhaust, especially from gasoline engines without a catalyst, and in tobacco smoke and in the photo-oxidants of summer smog.
It is used industrially as a base material for plastics, as well as in wood processing as an adhesive for plywood and chipboard, in the construction industry as thermal insulation, in the textile industry for "crease-free and easy-care equipment" and in the agriculture and food industry as a preservative. Formaldehyde is used as a disinfectant and is also contained in cosmetics, body and oral care products and sometimes in paints, varnishes and carpets.SpreadFormaldehyde is a volatile substance and is released into the indoor air through continuous release from chipboard and products made from it, carpets and insulating foams as well as through tobacco smoke and car exhaust fumes on busy streets. For a long time it was considered "home poison number 1" and it is mainly absorbed into the body with the air we breathe. The human body can handle the formaldehyde absorbed from food, as it generates this substance itself during natural transformations in the metabolic process.EffectsDue to its pronounced biological reactivity, formaldehyde causes irritation of the mucous membranes in high concentrations, possibly contact allergies and there is justified suspicion of having a carcinogenic potential as well as mutagenic and teratogenic effects.
The damaging effects start well below the odor threshold. In many cases, the typical odor is also masked by other components that are contained in cigarette smoke or car exhaust.
Short-term exposure to formaldehyde causes irritation of the eyes and respiratory organs even at low concentrations: from 0.01 ppm irritation of the eyes, from 0.08 ppm irritation of the eyes and nose and from 0.5 ppm irritation of the throat. Concentrated vapors greater than 10 ppm can lead to severe irritation of the mucous membranes with tearing, coughing and burning sensation in the nose and throat. Concentrations above 30 ppm cause toxic pulmonary edema and pneumonia; there is a mortal danger.
Chronic effects are disorders such as insomnia, fatigue, loss of drive, lack of appetite or nervousness, eye irritation and conjunctivitis, skin irritation, chronic cough, colds and bronchitis, headaches, depression, etc.Limit valuesTo avoid unreasonable pollution, the Federal Health Office has set an indoor air guide value for formaldehyde of 0.1 ppm (0.125 mg / m3) recommended. This guideline value is the basis of the regulations in the Chemicals Prohibition Ordinance ChemVerbotsV to limit formaldehyde emissions from furniture, wood-based materials and other products. In the context of the Hazardous Substances Ordinance-GefStoffV, regulations for the handling of this substance as well as restrictions for the most important areas of use were issued.Tendencies The pollution of indoor air with residential toxins has decreased since the above guideline value was set for living rooms and lounges and the restrictions on the content of pollutants in industrial products were enforced. On the other hand, smokers and people who involuntarily co-smoke remain at risk.
According to the Federal Environment Agency, emissions of volatile organic compounds without methane (Non Methane Volatile Organic Compounds - NMVOC for short) fell by 69 percent between 1990 and 2016. The use of solvents reported under industrial processes has made up the majority of German NMVOC emissions since the mid-1990s, while the technically-related sharp decline in traffic emissions has become less and less important over the years. See also Federal Environment Agency "Emission of volatile organic compounds without methane (NMVOC), development since 1990".Left Federal Environment Agency formaldehyde