Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | June 25, 2008

U.S. EPA to investigate health risked posed by formaldehyde in pressed wood products.

U.S. EPA is launching a broad effort to gain a greater scientific understanding of the potential health risks of formaldehyde’s use in pressed wood products. The Agency is pursuing this course of action following review of a TSCA Section 21 citizens’ petition (PDF) (106 pp, 4.44MB), which requested that EPA adopt nationally a recently enacted California regulation to control formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products and to extend the rule to include composite wood products in manufactured homes.

EPA carefully reviewed the citizens’ petition, submitted by the Sierra Club, a number of other environmental organizations, as well as a large number of private citizens, and sought comment and additional information on the petition. Read EPA’s letter to the petitioners (PDF) (1 pp, 84KB) and the response to the petition in the pre-publication copy of the Federal Register document (PDF) (21 pp, 196KB).

Through this process, EPA will develop risk assessments on potential adverse health effects, evaluate the costs and benefits of possible control technologies and approaches, and determine whether EPA action is needed to address any identified risks. The Agency plans to issue an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) in fall 2008.



  1. re “A Few too Many”, Joan Acocella, The New Yorker, long review of hangover
    research 2008.05.26 — same levels of formaldehyde and formic acid in FEMA
    trailers and other sources (aspartame, dark wines and liquors, tobacco
    smoke): Murray 2008.06.05
    Thursday, June 5, 2008

    formaldehyde and formic acid in FEMA trailers and other sources (aspartame,
    dark wines and liquors, tobacco smoke): Murray 2008.01.30
    Wednesday, January 30, 2008

    The FEMA trailers give about the same amount of formaldehyde and formic acid
    daily as from a quart of dark wine or liquor, or two quarts (6 12-oz cans)
    of aspartame diet soda, from their over 1 tenth gram methanol impurity (one
    part in 10,000), which the body quickly makes into formaldehyde and then
    formic acid — enough to be the major cause of “morning after” alcohol

    Methanol and formaldehyde and formic acid also result from many fruits and
    vegetables, tobacco and wood smoke, heater and vehicle exhaust, household
    chemicals and cleaners, cosmetics, and new cars, drapes, carpets, furniture,
    particleboard, mobile homes, buildings, leather… so all these sources add
    up and interact with many other toxic chemicals.

    methanol impurity in alcohol drinks [ and aspartame ] is turned into
    neurotoxic formic acid, prevented by folic acid, re Fetal Alcohol Syndrome,
    BM Kapur, DC Lehotay, PL Carlen at U. Toronto, Alc Clin Exp Res 2007 Dec.
    plain text: detailed biochemistry, CL Nie et al. 2007.07.18: Murray
    Sunday, February 24, 2008

    “Of course, everyone chooses, as a natural priority, to enjoy peace, joy,
    and love by helping to find, quickly share, and positively act upon evidence
    about healthy and safe food, drink, and environment.”

    Rich Murray, MA Room For All
    505-501-2298 1943 Otowi Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505 new primary archive
    group with 125 members, 1,541 posts in a public archive
    group with 1,109 members, 22,714 posts in public archive

    Annals Of Drinking
    A Few Too Many
    Is there any hope for the hung over?
    by Joan Acocella May 26, 2008

    “Wayne Jones, of the Swedish National Laboratory of Forensic Medicine”
    highly toxic formaldehyde, the cause of alcohol hangovers, is
    made by the body from 100 mg doses of methanol from
    dark wines and liquors, dimethyl dicarbonate, and aspartame:
    Murray 2007.08.31 ]
    methanol products (formaldehyde and formic acid) are main cause
    of alcohol hangover symptoms [same as from similar amounts of
    methanol, the 11% part of aspartame]: YS Woo et al, 2005 Dec:
    Murray 2006.01.20

    Addict Biol. 2005 Dec;10(4): 351-5.
    Concentration changes of methanol in blood samples during
    an experimentally induced alcohol hangover state.
    Woo YS, Yoon SJ, Lee HK, Lee CU, Chae JH, Lee CT, Kim DJ.
    Chuncheon National Hospital, Department of Psychiatry,
    The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
    Songsin Campus: 02-740-9714 Songsim Campus: 02-2164-4116
    Songeui Campus: 02-2164-4114 eight hospitals

    [ Han-Kyu Lee ]

    A hangover is characterized by the unpleasant physical and mental
    symptoms that occur between 8 and 16 hours after drinking alcohol.

    After inducing experimental hangover in normal individuals,
    we measured the methanol concentration prior to
    and after alcohol consumption
    and we assessed the association between the hangover condition
    and the blood methanol level.

    A total of 18 normal adult males participated in this study.

    They did not have any previous histories of psychiatric
    or medical disorders.

    The blood ethanol concentration prior to the alcohol intake
    (2.26+/-2.08) was not significantly different from that
    13 hours after the alcohol consumption (3.12+/-2.38).

    However, the difference of methanol concentration
    between the day of experiment (prior to the alcohol intake)
    and the next day (13 hours after the alcohol intake)
    was significant (2.62+/-1.33/l vs. 3.88+/-2.10/l, respectively).

    A significant positive correlation was observed
    between the changes of blood methanol concentration
    and hangover subjective scale score increment when covarying
    for the changes of blood ethanol level (r=0.498, p<0.05).

    This result suggests the possible correlation of methanol
    as well as its toxic metabolite to hangover. PMID: 16318957

    [ The toxic metabolite of methanol is formaldehyde, which in turn
    partially becomes formic acid — both potent cumulative toxins
    that are the actual cause of the toxicity of methanol.]

    This study by Jones AW (1987) found next-morning hangover
    from red wine with 100 to 150 mg methanol
    (9.5 % w/v ethanol, 100 mg/l methanol, 0.01 %).
    Fully 11% of aspartame is methanol —
    1,120 mg aspartame in 2 L diet soda,
    almost six 12-oz cans, gives 123 mg methanol (wood alcohol).

    Pharmacol Toxicol. 1987 Mar; 60(3): 217-20.
    Elimination half-life of methanol during hangover.
    Jones AW.;
    Department of Forensic Toxicology,
    University Hospital, SE-581 85 Linkoping, Sweden.

    This paper reports the elimination half-life of methanol in human
    Experiments were made during the morning after the subjects had
    consumed 1000-1500 ml red wine
    (9.5 % w/v ethanol, 100 mg/l methanol)
    the previous evening. [ 100 to 150 mg methanol ]
    The washout of methanol from the body
    coincided with the onset of hangover.
    The concentrations of ethanol and methanol in blood were
    determined indirectly by analysis of end-expired alveolar air.
    In the morning when blood-ethanol dropped
    below the Km of liver alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH)
    of about 100 mg/l (2.2 mM),
    the disappearance half-life of ethanol was 21, 22, 18 and 15 min.
    in 4 test subjects respectively.
    The corresponding elimination half-lives of methanol
    were 213, 110, 133 and 142 min. in these same individuals.
    The experimental design outlined in this paper can be used
    to obtain useful data on elimination kinetics of methanol
    in human volunteers without undue ethical limitations.
    Circumstantial evidence is presented to link methanol
    or its toxic metabolic products, formaldehyde and formic acid,
    with the pathogenesis of hangover. PMID: 3588516 ]
    [ for more, use initial URL….. ]

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