This week, the reported that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) added formaldehyde to the government’s list of chemicals and biological agents that may put people at increased risk of certain types of cancer, including those affecting the upper part of the throat behind the nose.
Besides serious disease such as cancer, formaldehyde can cause initial symptoms of watery and burning in the eyes, nose and throat. It can cause skin irritation, rashes, nausea, coughing, chest tightness, upset stomach and trouble breathing. Formaldehyde also acts as a xenoestrogen and can disrupt your hormonal balance.
Think you’re in the clear? You may want to check your pantry. Commonly used as a preservative in medical laboratories and mortuaries, you may be surprised to learn that this toxin is also a by-product of a popular artificial sweetener, aspartame. Consequently, it can be found in diet sodas, breath mints, gum, cereals, frozen desserts, coffee, juice, synthetic vitamins, pharmaceutical drugs, tea, wine coolers, and yogurt supplements. Additionally, formaldehyde is found in car exhaust, cigarette smoke, gas furnaces, and smoke from cooking appliances and open fireplaces, as well as a whole host of everyday products.
You can minimize your exposure to formaldehyde by purchasing products that are free of harmful chemicals. You can purchase formaldehyde-free nail polish and natural household and cosmetic products. Need your diet soda fix? There are natural soda products sweetened with stevia, so you get the flavor you crave without the chemicals! Detoxification with the proper vitamins and minerals is also important, and remember to always read your labels!