Formaldehyde is a chemical used to manufacture resins and other chemicals which produce other products such as fiberglass, cleaners, foam insulation, and particleboard. Absorption occurs through inhalation or through skin contact. There are two types of formaldehyde that have been identified as gas emitters and can cause health problems. Urea-formaldehyde resin is often found in particleboard in mobile homes and paneling used to bind wood and other particulates. Phenol formaldehyde emits lower levels of gas and is usually not the cause of most formaldehyde related litigation.
The effects of formaldehyde differ depending on amount of exposure and personal tolerances. With low levels of exposure, it can irritate the eyes, nose and throat and cause asthma like symptoms. With more prolonged and greater exposure, central nervous system damage and more pervasive lung damage is common. Formaldehyde is a known cancer causing chemical and can cause fetal injuries to pregnant women.
Most toxic exposure cases have come from industrial exposures where large quantities of the chemical are used to manufacture products. If you have any symptoms of formaldehyde exposure, consult your physician immediately. Consulting a personal injury attorney specializing in toxic tort cases will help organize your case and determine if you have any claims for injuries you have suffered. Toxic tort cases such as this are often difficult to litigate because formaldehyde is present in so many common household products and medical testing to determine causation can be extensive.