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Formaldehyde Quickview (CASRN 50-00-0)

Health assessment information on a chemical substance is included in IRIS only after a comprehensive review of toxicity data by U.S. EPA health scientists from several Program Offices, Regional Offices, and the Office of Research and Development.

Disclaimer: This QuickView represents a snapshot of key information. We suggest that you read the IRIS Summary to put this information into complete context.

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Status of Data for Formaldehyde

File First On-Line: 10/01/1989; Last Significant Revision: 09/01/1990

Category (section)
Last Revised
Oral RfD Assessment Yes 09/01/1990
Inhalation RfC Assessment No
Carcinogenicity Assessment Yes 10/01/1989
Under Re-Assessment
  • 50-00-0
  • Aldehyde formique (French)
  • Aldehyd mravenci (Czech)
  • BFV
  • FA
  • Formaldehyd (Czech, Polish)
  • Formaldehyde
  • Formalin
  • Formalith
  • Formic aldehyde
  • Formol
  • more...
Formaldehyde Source Documents
Revision History
Date Section Description
04/01/1997 III., IV., V. Drinking Water Health Advisories, EPA Regulatory Actions, and Supplementary Data were removed from IRIS on or before April 1997. IRIS users were directed to the appropriate EPA Program Offices for this information.
Chronic Health Hazard Assessments for Noncarcinogenic Effects

Reference Dose for Chronic Oral Exposure (RfD)

Critical Effect
Point of Departure*
Reduced weight gain, histopathology in rats NOAEL : 1.5 x101 mg/kg-day 100 2 x10-1 mg/kg-day

* The Point of Departure listed serves as a basis from which the Oral RfD was derived. See Discussion of Conversion Factors and Assumptions for more details.

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Reference Concentration for Chronic Inhalation Exposure (RfC)

Not Assessed under the IRIS Program.

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Carcinogenicity Assessment for Lifetime Exposure
  • Weight-of-Evidence Characterization
    • B1 (Probable human carcinogen - based on limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans)
  • Weight-of-Evidence Narrative:
    • Based on limited evidence in humans, and sufficient evidence in animals. Human data include nine studies that show statistically significant associations between site-specific respiratory neoplasms and exposure to formaldehyde or formaldehyde-containing products. An increased incidence of nasal squamous cell carcinomas was observed in long-term inhalation studies in rats and in mice. The classification is supported by in vitro genotoxicity data and formaldehyde's structural relationships to other carcinogenic aldehydes such as acetaldehyde.
    • This may be a synopsis of the full weight-of-evidence narrative. See IRIS Summary.

Quantitative Estimate of Carcinogenic Risk from Oral Exposure

  • Not Assessed under the IRIS Program.

Quantitative Estimate of Carcinogenic Risk from Inhalation Exposure

Inhalation Unit Risk(s)
Extrapolation Method
1.3 x10-5 per µg/m3 Linearized multistage procedure, additional risk

Inhalation Concentrations at Specified Risk Levels

Risk Level
E-4 (1 in 10,000) 8 µg/m3
E-5 (1 in 100,000) 8x10-1 µg/m3
E-6 (1 in 1,000,000) 8x10-2 µg/m3

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