The following is taken from www.mercola.com
Formaldehyde is commonly known as embalming fluid. It is great for dead people, but best avoided by the living. Many ingredients used in cosmetic products, food, and even clothing products contain formaldehyde, or is contaminated by it.
Chemicals to watch out for that contain, or may be contaminated with formaldehyde is:
Common ingredients likely to contaminate products with formaldehyde include:
- DMDM hydantoin
- Imidazolidinyl urea
- Diazolidinyl urea
New Concern in Your Food: Wood Alcohol (Methanol)
Fresh fruits and vegetables contain small amounts of naturally-occurring methanol, and the artificial sweetener aspartame converts into methanol in your body.
Normally this is not a problem as the methanol is typically bound to pectin, and since your body has no enzyme to metabolize that bond it is simply excreted in your stool and none of the methanol is absorbed into your body.
However, the problem occurs when you can or bottle fruit- or vegetable juice, as the methanol tends to then dissociate from the pectin into free methanol, which you do absorb.
The methanol you absorb readily passes the blood brain barrier where it can be converted to form formaldehyde, which is a potent toxin that actually causes most of the damage.
So what is the main source of methanol in your diet?
Remember that fresh fruits and vegetables have it but it’s harmless if you eat them fresh, as the methanol is then bound to pectin and cannot dissociate and cause you harm.
They key is to avoid ALL canned (or bottled) fruit or vegetable juices as they will have free methanol. Another large source of free methanol would be aspartame which is 11 percent methanol by weight.
Formaldehyde has also been shown to cause cancer in animals, and may cause cancer in humans. Other common adverse health effects include:
- skin rash (contact dermatitis)
- severe allergic reactions
- eye, nose, and throat irritation
- wheezing and coughing