Cancer Warnings on Formaldehyde Blocked from Public by EPA

Regulatory capture of governmental agencies has reared its ugly head again.

It is important to note that formaldehyde also makes an appearance in U.S. food (such as some beer) and some personal care products (such as hair dyes and relaxers) as certain levels are permitted by the FDA. For more information on where formaldehyde is hiding and what the scientific evidence says about the potential harm to human health see our Food Additives to Avoid List [FATAL]–and of course there is more information in our book.


Sources: EPA blocks warnings on cancer-causing chemical

Burying the formaldehyde study is part of an effort by Pruitt and aides to undermine EPA’s research program, current and former officials tell POLITICO.


The Trump administration is suppressing an Environmental Protection Agency report that warns that most Americans inhale enough formaldehyde vapor in the course of daily life to put them at risk of developing leukemia and other ailments, a current and a former agency official told POLITICO.

The warnings are contained in a draft health assessment EPA scientists completed just before Donald Trump became president, according to the officials. They said top advisers to departing Administrator Scott Pruitt are delaying its release as part of a campaign to undermine the agency’s independent research into the health risks of toxic chemicals.

Andrew Wheeler, the No. 2 official at EPA who will be the agency’s new acting chief as of Monday, also has a history with the chemical. He was staff director for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in 2004, when his boss, then-Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), sought to delay an earlier iteration of the formaldehyde assessment.

Formaldehyde is one of the most commonly used chemicals in the country. Americans are exposed to it through wood composites in cabinets and furniture, as well as air pollution from major refineries. The new assessment would give greater weight to warnings about the chemical’s risks and could lead to stricter regulations from the EPA or class-action lawsuits targeting its manufacturers, as frequently occurs after these types of studies are released…

Decades’ of research has linked formaldehyde to nose and throat cancer and respiratory problems, and newer research has suggested the connection to leukemia — controversial conclusions that would gain significant credence if EPA formally adopts them. The new assessment affirms those links to leukemia, nose and throat cancer and other ailments, according to the current and former officials familiar with its findings…

Read more on the politics behind this decision here.