Most home formaldehyde test kits include a badge or pump for collecting an air sample that is returned to an accredited laboratory for testing. Formaldehyde is of special concern in new or remodeled homes.
Home Air Check and Sylvane are two companies among many that offer home tests for formaldehyde. Home Air Check offers an air pump that samples the air in a home. Once the pump collects the sample, return the sample and pump for testing by an accredited air testing laboratory. Home Air Check emails results within five business days.
The test offered by Sylvane is similar but includes a badge rather than a pump for sampling. A badge-type test kit has the added advantage that the badge is wearable and tests for personal exposure. Collect the air sample for a period of 24 to 48 hours, and return the badge to the laboratory for testing. Sylvane typically offers results within seven to 10 business days.
Formaldehyde is used in the production of many wood products, like particle board, plywood and wood paneling. It is also a byproduct of burning gasoline and natural gas. Having small amounts of formaldehyde in the air is common, but at higher concentrations it causes headaches, nausea, dizziness and irritation of the eyes and throat. It is also a possible carcinogen over longer exposure. Homes with new wood products are most at risk for high formaldehyde levels.