How to Check Formaldehyde Levels in Your Home

Formaldehyde is widely used in the manufacturing of many materials. Sources that produce formaldehyde include kerosene heaters, gas stoves, household products, smoking and building materials. Common building materials that give off some level of formaldehyde include particleboard and pressed wood. It is also used in permanent press processes, some paints as a preservative and in adhesives and glues. If you experience health issues such as nausea, sore throat and burning or watering eyes with no explanation, you can check the formaldehyde levels in your home to see if formaldehyde may be the cause.

Step 1

Purchase a formaldehyde testing kit, which is designed to measure the level of formaldehyde in the home. One such kit available is the SKC 526-100 Indoor Formaldehyde Passive Sampler.

Step 2

Choose a spot in the home to hang the sampler. The ideal location is close to the ceiling or by a door jamb. The tube must be at least 24 inches away from windows, outside doors and walls. If you have a two-story home, you will need one sampler for each floor.

Step 3

Write the start time, date and the location that you hang the sampler on the label that comes with the sampler. Place the label on the sampler tube.

Step 4

Remove the cap from the sampler tube. Place it on the bottom of the tube or, if the cap doesn't fit on the bottom of the tube, place the cap in a safe place.

Step 5

Hang the sampler tube in the location you have chosen. Different kits may have different types of mounting methods. If the kit comes with a pin, push the pin through the ribbon on the end of the tube and then into the door jam or ceiling.

Step 6

Leave the sampler tube hanging for five to seven days undisturbed. When the time is up, take down the sampler tube. Place the cap on the tube. Write the time and date that you removed the sampler on the label affixed to the tube.

Step 7

Mail the sampler tube to the address indicated with the formaldehyde test kit. The results will be mailed to you after the sampler tube is tested for formaldehyde.