formaldehyde exposure and als

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Senior member
Apr 27, 2007
The report that came out over the wekend ( finds an increased risk of ALS for people who have been exposed to formaldehyde. Interestingly, they did not find such a link between ALS and herbicides and pesticides. In addition to other risk factors, such as statin use, veteran status, gender, age, exercise and athleticism, I wonder how many of these factors will eventually be found to be an increased risk for ALS? Did any of you have prolonged exposure to formaldehyde?

Unfortunately, I seem to have many of the risk factors and my symptoms seem to be progressing. I was exposed to formaldehyde for a period of time when I was in my twenties. I worked for a clothing company that used it to fasten colors on fabrics. I am also male, the right normative age, have exercised for most of my life, and have a thin build. I believe all of these are risk factors.
No takers on this formaldehyde exposure, eh? Does that mean that most of you have not had exposure to formaldehyde that you know of?

On that site they also had a report of the study that found that moderate exercise seems to be helpful for decelerating the symptoms of ALS. That is a point of interest for me because I continue to exercise with relatively heavy weights and wonder whether I am accelerating damage to my muscles.
My husband was a carpenter for the last 15+ years. He did alot of rehabs. It is my understanding that lumber is treated with formaldehyde. The possible connection is unsettling to me, as our daughter is allergic to formaldehyde. Her allergist told me that new homes are loaded with formaldehyde and that it takes several years for it to dissipate.
My husband was working for a medical lab a couple of years before he was diagnosed, and on one occasion he had a really bad formaldehyde spill in the company car. He had to drive the car back to the lab (which was a couple of hours away), and he said the odor was so strong that his eyes were watering the whole time, even though he had all the windows open.

I've often wondered if this was the trigger of his ALS. He was also a runner, healthy and had a slim build.

I wish someone could find a common thread in this disease - it seems to hit physically fit people more than anyone.
Linda: The article stated that formaldehyde use today is less common. But, as you point out this may not be the case if it still widely used in construction.

Lillie: One never knows. The article led me to believe the greatest risk for ALS is prolonged exposure.

Perhaps, researchers can develop a check list of risk factors and their corresponding probabilities of increased risk for ALS. Even better would be if they could identify the risk factors and the increase in probability when such individual factors are combined.
I get a lot of exposure from college. Anatomy classes typically use preserved cats for dissection and the smell of formaldehyde is very intense. Also, I'm not sure if this is true or not, but aspartame is supposedly converted to formaldehyde in the body. Kind of scary to think about it...

Yes, it is scary. I don't think the article I cited specifies the extent of exposure, only that prolonged exposure is riskier than shortened exposure. How are you doing? OK, I pray.
We spread fomaldahyde around our trailor in Florida when we came home for the summer every year. We also bought a new double wide that had a sign in it saying it had been treated with formaldahyde.
commonly found sources of formeldahyde


Formaldehyde is an important chemical used widely by industry to manufacture building materials and numerous household products. It is also a by-product of combustion and certain other natural processes. Thus, it may be present in substantial concentrations both indoors and outdoors.

Sources of formaldehyde in the home include building materials, smoking, household products, and the use of un-vented, fuel-burning appliances, like gas stoves or kerosene space heaters. Formaldehyde, by itself or in combination with other chemicals, serves a number of purposes in manufactured products. For example, it is used to add permanent-press qualities to clothing and draperies, as a component of glues and adhesives, and as a preservative in some paints and coating products.

In homes, the most significant sources of formaldehyde are likely to be pressed wood products made using adhesives that contain urea-formaldehyde (UF) resins. Pressed wood products made for indoor use include: particleboard (used as sub-flooring and shelving and in cabinetry and furniture); hardwood plywood paneling (used for decorative wall covering and used in cabinets and furniture); and medium density fiberboard (used for drawer fronts, cabinets, and furniture tops). Medium density fiberboard contains a higher resin-to-wood ratio than any other UF pressed wood product and is generally recognized as being the highest formaldehyde-emitting pressed wood product.

Other pressed wood products, such as softwood plywood and flake or oriented strand board, are produced for exterior construction use and contain the dark, or red/black-colored phenol-formaldehyde (PF) resin. Although formaldehyde is present in both types of resins, pressed woods that contain PF resin generally emit formaldehyde at considerably lower rates than those containing UF resin.
aspartame and formeldahyde

I get a lot of exposure from college. Anatomy classes typically use preserved cats for dissection and the smell of formaldehyde is very intense. Also, I'm not sure if this is true or not, but aspartame is supposedly converted to formaldehyde in the body. Kind of scary to think about it...

Yes, it is true....
from Aspartame - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Upon ingestion, aspartame breaks down into several residual chemicals, including aspartic acid, phenylalanine, methanol, and further breakdown products including formaldehyde,[14] formic acid, and a diketopiperazine. There is some controversy surrounding the rate of breakdown into these various products and the effects that they have on those that consume aspartame-sweetened foods.

What are the historical common considerations among PALS SINCE 1869 and to prehistoric times? Anyone see a connection besides me?
• ALS, FTD and Parkinson’s related Dementia (see

• Aspartate, aspartame, tdp-43, glutamate (see,+aspartame+tdp-43&hl=en&sa=G)

• Glutamate, ALS, TDP-43, (see

• TDP-43, ALS, FTD (see and

• Fossilized cycad palms (see

• children of soldiers in WW II, who fought in the South Pacific who may have been near Guam and cycad trees, areca palm (betel nut) trees, and cycad tainted bats and Aspartate (see

• biomagnifications and emigration of the Guamese and soldier’s children and spouse population, as well as other countries where the sago palm (cycad nut) trees are indigenous (see Cycad - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

• cycad nuts from Acaca palm and the making of a starch for human consumption in Guamese areas, as well as Australia, New South Wales and other southern climates with high ALS populations see and

• Charcot and his student, Kinnosouke Mirura, from Japan, who observed and collaborated with Charcot regarding Guam ALS as referenced in

• The Gulf War Vets and aspartame in Diet COKE? (see

• Gulf War Vets experience higher than normal incidence of ALS (see

• Motoneuron Diseases, glutamate excitotoxicity, Oxidative Stress, Aspartate (see
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Very interesting stuff

My husband who was diagnosed with PMA in March isn't exposed to formaldahyde, but is slight built and muscular. He doesn't exercise excessively he is just naturally muscular and works hard all day with physical work, he's a farmer and it requires lots of walking through fields, changing tractor tires, lifting heavy bags of what not etc. So I just wanted to add my 2 cents on the slight built/ muscular aspect.
Hey Gulfport Gal,
Capt AL here. I live in Gulfport, Ms. Is that where you are?
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