Formaldehyde is such wonderful stuff; it is part of the glue that holds our lives together, that binds our cheap particle board furniture, that preserves Grandma's body so well. Tony Blair is gaga over it too, saying in a speech he got paid £90,000 to give:
"To be honest, until I looked at the list of what formaldehyde does, I had no idea of how many parts of my life were governed by the existence of this thing. When I go back home, I will tell my nine-year-old boy: 'Stop all other studies and concentrate on formaldehyde and you will be fine!'"
You would never know that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) just concluded that there is a link between formaldehyde and leukemia. Or that it made so many people sick in FEMA trailers after Katrina.
Leo Hickman was not impressed with the career advice that little Leo Blair was going to be getting, and wrote in the Guardian:
Blair somehow forgot to mention is that formaldehyde has its downsides. The US National Cancer Institute says that when formaldehyde is present in the air "at levels exceeding 0.1 parts per million", individuals may experience symptoms such as burning sensations in the eyes, nose and throat, coughing, nausea and skin irritation. And in the UK it's a category 3 carcinogen, which means it is a substance with possible carcinogenic effects.
We suggest little Leo read a little TreeHugger too:
FEMA Trailers Optimizing Formaldehyde Exposure
Big Steps In Building: Ban Formaldehyde
Industry & Enviros to EPA: Regulate Formaldehyde (And Save Billions For US Taxpayers)
FEMA Ignored or Buried Formaldehyde Research
US National Institutes Of Health Confirms Cancer Risk Of Formaldehyde Exposure: Katrina Redux