Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Formaldehyde

By Ashley Wilkes


Is there Formaldehyde in Amway's L.O.C., Allano Hand-Body Lotion, Metal Cleaner, Micropolymer Floor Wax, Rug and Upholstery Shampoo?


The American Lung Association makes the following statement about formaldehyde:

"Formaldehyde is found in dozens of household products and in cigarette smoke. The major sources in the home are the resins in particle board, plywood panelling, some adhesives, carpet backing, upholstery and drapery fabric.

Formaldehyde is a gas with a strong unpleasant smell and the process by which it is released from products that contain it can be speeded up by high temperature and humidity.

Formaldehyde gas can cause headaches, dizziness, lethargy, rashes, nausea and irritation of the eyes and upper respiratory tract. Lengthy exposure at high levels may cause nasal cancer. High levels may cause an asthma attack in people with asthma and can result in some people having permanent sensitization to even low levels of formaldehyde."

The Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida tested a variety of popular products for the presence of formaldehyde. Among those products found to contain the gas were Amway's L.O.C., Alano Hand and Body Lotion, Metal Cleaner, Micropolymer Floor Wax, and Rug and Upholstery Shampoo.

This testing, I believe, was done within the past 12 to 18 months.

Since some people are allergic to even trace amounts of formaldehyde, manufacturers have a moral/ethical (if not legal) obligation to put a warning of its presence on their product labels.

Occasionally someone of reptilian intelligence will write and criticize this notice on the basis that "you don't drink L.O.C". Well, you don't have to. Since formaldehyde is a gas, all a hypersensitive person would have to do to experience a possibly severe reaction is spread a product containing formaldehyde on surfaces in a room or, as in the case of Alano Hand and Body Lotion, rubbing it into their skin.

It is possible Amway has removed formaldehyde from these products but, if not, Amway should put a warning on their labels.

Testing for the presence of formaldehyde, I've learned, is a relatively complicated and costly process. Originally, I had thought I would be able to find someone to do the testing either free or at a reasonable price but this has not turned out to be the case. Consequently, I suggest that those that would like to know for sure contact the Product Info Division of the Amway Corporation and try to get an official statement regarding the presence of formaldehyde. I will be doing the same and will post the results here.



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