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Formaldehyde Fumes from Fire Cause Major Evacuation of Residents

Tue, 10 Jul 2012 09:56:44 EST

EMSL Analytical provides testing services to identify formaldehyde and other chemical contaminants to protect the public safety.
Cinnaminson, NJ, July 9th, 2012
Last month, a plastics plant caught fire in Zion, Illinois.  Thirty-five fire departments from the area north of Chicago responded to the three-alarm fire.  Evacuations were ordered for a 1 mile radius south of the fire that lasted approximately 2 hours. 
The reason for the large evacuation was due to concerns over formaldehyde being released from chemicals burning.  Responding firefighters wore full protective gear and went through chemical detoxification procedures for safety reasons.  Fortunately, no major injuries were reported.
Most people recognize the health risks associated with chemical fires that release toxic fumes, such as formaldehyde.  Unfortunately, few people realize that this industrial chemical is also widely used in many products used to construct and furnish homes, schools and offices.   
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 'Formaldehyde is an important chemical used widely by industry to manufacture building materials and numerous household products. It is also a by-product of combustion and certain other natural processes. Thus, it may be present in substantial concentrations both indoors and outdoors.'
One company that has been providing formaldehyde testing services to help protect both industrial workers and families from exposure is EMSL Analytical, Inc.  'Although many people think of formaldehyde as an industrial chemical, it is also found in many common products such as chemicals, particle board, household products, glues, permanent press fabrics, paper product coatings, fiberboard and plywood,' reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical.     'Formaldehyde can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin when it is in liquid form and cause a wide range of health problems.  Indoor air quality testing can quickly determine if unsafe levels are in an occupied building,' he continued.
EMSL has sponsored a video about the hazards associated with formaldehyde in the indoor environment.  It can be seen at:
For information about testing for formaldehyde or other indoor air quality testing (IAQ)
services, please visit, email or call (800) 220-3675.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of quality environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public.  The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies. 

Source: WebWire

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