Another formaldehyde scare promoted by a big ecological study–it causes ALS

I thought it was some other chemical that caused ALS. Nobody knows what causes ALS.

Chemophobia is an irrational fear of things with chemical names.

Did you know that Formaldehyde is found in the human body as a metabolic product and that the studies that resulted in a claim that formaldehyde is a carcinogen were rat studies with high exposures and they were pretty weak indeed.

AS for formaldehyde and ALS, this was a survey study with exposures calculated on response items.

People were surveyed–and the researchers “calculated” formaldehyde exposures based on the surveys so, in fact no exposures were actually determined.

That’s just the beginning of why these studies are not reliable and should not make the journals or the news. In fact they shouldn’t even pass the smell or laugh test.

A better study would be of people with high exposures, like morticians, so why didn’t they do that?


3 responses to “Another formaldehyde scare promoted by a big ecological study–it causes ALS

  1. When I was 12 or 13, I had a job at the local paint store as bicycle delivery boy. One of my tasks was washing out empty embalming fluid bottles from the undertaker next door, and then refilling them for sale, with turpentine, varsol or linseed oil.
    Boy, did that residual pink formaldehyde stink!
    Now at age 84, I suppose my life has been shortened accordingly.
    Anyone know how long uncontaminated rats live?
    Maybe I should buy some life insurance.

  2. What’s the scientific term for utter hog wash? They surveyed the subject population at least once about their exposure? And what was my exposure to formaldehyde 20 years ago? I’m sure I have that down pat. Doesn’t everyone?

    Actually I may know more than most. First exposure to CH2O was in 1963, high school biology lab dissecting worms. 1976-1996 various technical and management positions in the industrial production of amine-formaldehyde adducts and polymers. Also, lead HAZMAT teams for spills including CH2O. We measured operator exposure by job by product. I never had a monitor. So my exposure is above average, but likely not significantly above OSHA or ACGIH limits, at least very often. We used formaldehyde by the 20k gallon tank car. I can’t quantitate my formaldehyde exposure and these guys are doing a survey that might ask once about exposure from people who have less data than I. Sounds like something for growing roses.

    I’ve seen ALS. It’s a terrible thing to watch someone gradually descend into total physical incapacity. This piece of chemophobia doesn’t help and wastes good research money.

  3. The greatest threat to human health and wellness is entropy, second law of thermodynamics. Almost all of these mysterious ailments, conditions are caused by natural deterioration of our genetics. But our wellness nannies will never admit that, they prefer to become “heroes” by blaming some harmless substance and crusading to get it baned.

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