Formaldehyde is a colourless, flammable gas that commonly used as a building materials preservative can also be found in a range of household products like paints, carpeting, and in the construction of bathroom vanities.
It is classified as a known human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and is highly toxic to humans by inhalation, ingestion, skin contact or ingestion.
When purchasing new household products, especially those constructed in part or in full from other products containing formaldehyde, it's important to check the product’s formaldehyde ratings to assess any potential health risks.
What Is Formaldehyde?
Formaldehyde is used in the manufacturing of plastics (e.g. polystyrene), consumer goods (e.g. mops, cleaners, furniture), and over-the-counter medications such as nasal sprays. It is toxic to humans and a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing agent).
It is most often released by building materials, wood products and composite wood panels like particleboard, plywood and laminate flooring. It's also used in some adhesives, sealants, and resins.
Formaldehyde can cause damage to the skin, muscles, blood vessels, eyes, lungs, and central nervous system. In severe cases, it can cause death due to organ failure or respiratory failure.
Formaldehyde toxicity is a real concern when buying bathroom vanities, especially from unreputable sellers.
To avoid potential risks, ensure that your bathroom vanity has a low formaldehyde rating before purchasing. The Sink Warehouse's bathroom vanities all conform to the very lowest emission ratings of E0 and E1.
What Are The Risks Associated With Formaldehyde?
There are numerous health risks associated with exposure to formaldehyde.
When inhaled, formaldehyde irritates the eyes, nose and throat, causing coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest pain.
When ingested into the body, it passes first into the bloodstream where it causes damage to cells lining the blood vessels and then to other tissues throughout the body.
When formaldehyde comes into contact with the skin or mucous membranes, it can cause chemical burns and even permanent scarring.
Formaldehyde can also affect the immune system by reducing the effectiveness of the body's natural defence mechanisms. This can lead to an increase in the number of cancer cells in the body and make some people more susceptible to other types of cancer.
Long-term exposure to low doses of formaldehyde can cause some people to become sensitised to it. This means that exposed individuals may develop an increased sensitivity to formaldehyde when exposed to it in the future.
To minimise your exposure to formaldehyde, avoid products that contain it when possible. If you're concerned about potential exposure to formaldehyde, speak with your doctor right away.
What Are the Different Types of Formaldehyde Ratings?
Formaldehyde ratings help minimise the health risks associated with formaldehyde exposure.
They tell you how much formaldehyde a product emits and how high the emissions are. The ratings help you choose products that emit less formaldehyde.
Emission class ratings are used to inform manufacturers and consumers about the health risks posed by products that have been manufactured using formaldehyde. The ratings are as follows:
Formaldehyde Emission Classes (mg/l)
The Sink Warehouse’s bathroom vanities all conform to the lowest formaldehyde percentage ratings of E0 and E1.
Contact The Sink Warehouse — Australia's Bathroom Experts
Established in 1994, The Sink Warehouse has become one of the most popular Australian retail outlets for bathroom, kitchen and laundry products due to our unwavering commitment to quality and service. We have several locations across Australia and can ship our products anywhere nationwide.