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ascapin Nov 27, 2016 11:16 PM
Hi EEA, I'm doing a research on "Formaldeyhde in the outside air" at the RheinMain University in Rüsselsheim, in Germany.
The EU-Regulation 2015/491 has changed the classification of formaldeyhde from "suspected of having cancer effects" to "cancer-causing and gamete-mutating substance".
On what grounds was changed the classification? Are there new researches on human health (the last scientific tests go back to the years 1980-1990)?
Did you collect data of immission concentration in cities, due to for example exhausted gas from cars? (values or monthly/yearly trends?)
Which are the threshold values, that we can't exceed?
Which are the measurament methods that I can employ to measure the concentrations of formaldeyhde in the outside environment?

Thanks
Replies (3)
EEA Nov 28, 2016 05:11 PM
Dear ascapin,

Your question has been forwarded to our experts. We will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

Kind regards,
EEA Dec 07, 2016 11:42 AM
Dear ascapin,

On the classification of formaldehyde, I would encourage you to contact The European Chemicals Agency - ECHA (https://echa.europa.eu).

ECHA is responsible for the CLP Regulation, under which substances are classified on the basis of their toxicological properties.

The EEA does not collect data on emissions of formaldehyde and we also do not undertake measurements ourselves, so our experts are not familiar with specific measurement methods.

I am awaiting more information to your questions from another expert.

Kind regards,
EEA Dec 07, 2016 01:54 PM
Dear ascapin,

In reply to your questions related to air pollution:

Did you collect data of immission concentration in cities, due to for example exhausted gas from cars? (values or monthly/yearly trends?)

Formaldehyde is one of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) listed in annex X of the Ambient Air Quality Directive (2008/50/EC). This list is a compilation of the VOCs recommended for measurement as ozone precursor substances. This means measurements of formaldehyde are not mandatory. I have checked in the AQ e-reporting database viewer and we only have data in 2014 from two Spanish cities. This viewer can be accessed at http://aide.apps.eea.europa.eu/?source={"query":{"match_all":{}},"display_type":"tabular","sort":[{"Namespace":{"order":"asc"}},{"ReportingYear":{"order":"asc"}}]} and then filter by air pollutant “HCHO”.

It might be other measurements from years before 2013 in the old Airbase database (http://www.eea.europa.eu/[…]/airbase-the-european-air-quality-database-8). If so, they will be under “pollutant code” = 25.

Which are the threshold values, that we can't exceed?

As explained before, formaldehyde is not one of the pollutants with regulated limit or target values. As stated in Annex X to the Ambient Air Quality Directive, the main objectives of formaldehyde and the other VOCs measurements are to analyse any trend in ozone precursors, to check the efficiency of emission reduction strategies, to check the consistency of emission inventories and to help attribute emission sources to observed pollution concentrations.


Which are the measurament methods that I can employ to measure the concentrations of formaldeyhde in the outside environment?

The European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) has been requested by the Commission to draft up and validate a European standard for standard measurement methods for the measurement and monitoring of volatile organic compounds ozone precursors in ambient air. In the meanwhile, you can contact the Air quality reference laboratories network (AQUILA, https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/aquila) on the existing methods.

I hope this is helpful.

Kind regards,


 
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