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Toxic Substance

    What is Formaldehyde?

    CAS#: 000050-00-0

    At room temperature, formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable gas that has a distinct, pungent smell. It is also known as methanal, methylene oxide, oxymethyline, methylaldehyde, and oxomethane. Formaldehyde is naturally produced in small amounts in our bodies.

    It is used in the production of fertilizer, paper, plywood, and urea-formaldehyde resins. It is also used as a preservative in some foods and in many products used around the house, such as antiseptics, medicines, and cosmetics.

    Related Resources for Formaldehyde

    • CERCLA Priority List of Hazardous Substances
      Prioritization of substances based on a combination of their frequency, toxicity, and potential for human exposure at National Priorities List (NPL) sites.
    • FEMA Trailer Study
      This is the central CDC/ATSDR repository for all public materials related to the CDC FEMA Trailer response, including links to materials for residents, for clinicians, and for the news media.
    • Medical Management Guidelines (MMGs) for Acute Chemical Exposures
      Publication intended to aid emergency department physicians and other emergency healthcare professionals who manage acute exposures resulting from chemical incidents.
    • Minimal Risk Levels (MRL)
      The MRL is an estimate of the daily human exposure to a hazardous substance that is likely to be without appreciable risk of adverse, non-cancer health effects over a specified duration of exposure. The information in this MRL serves as a screening tool to help public health professionals decide where to look more closely to evaluate possible risk of adverse health effects from human exposure.
    • Public Health Statement
      Summary about a hazardous substance taken from Chapter One of its respective ATSDR Toxicological Profile.
    • ToxFAQ
      Fact sheet that answers the most frequently asked questions about a contaminant and its health effects.
    • Toxicological Profile
      Succinctly characterizes the toxicologic and adverse health effects information for a hazardous substance.
    This page was updated on 09/22/2008