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April 19, 2008 5:29 AM
Formaldehyde Exposure Linked to ALS

At a recent meeting of the American Academy of Neurology a report was presented demonstrating a 34% higher risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease as a result of exposure to formaldehyde.

"Although this finding could well be a chance observation, it merits further investigation, particularly because people with longer exposure to formaldehyde had a greater risk of developing ALS than those with shorter exposures," said study author Marc Weisskopf, PhD, of Harvard University in Boston. "People who reported 10 or more years of exposure were almost four times as likely to develop ALS as those with no exposure."

Formaldehyde is used in particle board and other wood products, permanent press fabrics, glues, and other household products, such as cosmetics and shampoo. It is also used as a preservative in medical laboratories and mortuaries, and as an industrial disinfectant.

Further reading:

http://www.wtvr.com/Global/story.asp?S=8177739

http://www.epa.gov/iaq/formalde.html#Background

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/merg/members/marc%20weisskopf.htm

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