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NFDA Calls on Federal Government to do Formaldehyde Research

Posted: September 29, 2011

NFDA was one of 21 associations and trade organizations to sign a letter calling on Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, to commission a definitive study on the alleged link between formaldehyde exposure and leukemia. The letter was sponsored by the American Chemistry Council (ACC); NFDA is a member of ACC's Formaldehyde Council.

Earlier this year, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) issued a substance profile that asserts formaldehyde is a "known human carcinogen." The NTP's action contradicted the findings and conclusions of a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) independent scientific review of a draft formaldehyde assessment by the Environmental Protection Agency.

While the NTP stated that the NAS committee's review is of limited applicability to its own formaldehyde evaluation, according to the ACC, the varying pronouncements have led to unnecessary public anxiety and significant, negative commercial consequences for the numerous uses and applications of formaldehyde.

The letter states: "A definitive carcinogenicity hazard assessment on formaldehyde from the respected and independent NAS would lead to the government-wide policy consistency we are seeking. Furthermore, it is clearly in the public's interest to get the science right. To these ends, we ask that you use your authority to commission an NAS study as soon as possible."