Is your Motorhome Killing You?

Jim

Ringleader
Jul 19, 2007
29,146
84,912
Sutton on Sea
Funster No
1
MH
C Class Diesel RV
Exp
Since 1990
In the US some are worried about Formaldehyde and the RV's Industry Association has opened a website dedicated to it.

I have copied the FAQ and pasted it below, for an indepth look you can go to The website

FAQ

Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring compound in the air, in plants, in some foods and in the human body. It’s also one of the most commonly used (and produced) chemicals in the world.
Why Is It In RVs?

Formaldehyde is a component in almost all glues used to produce wood products. The two most common are urea formaldehyde and phenol formaldehyde. And since it’s used to make plywood and particleboard, it’s commonly found in flooring, paneling, cabinetry, furniture and other products. These are the same products commonly used in office and apartment buildings, houses, manufactured housing and RVs.
It’s also used to treat permanent- and durable-press fabrics, so it’s commonly found in clothes and curtains. I’ve Heard About Formaldehyde On The News, And I’m Worried About Being Exposed. What Do I Need To Know About It?

The issue of formaldehyde has received some media attention and ongoing scientific evaluations are being followed closely by the RV industry. When we take in formaldehyde, enzymes in our bodies naturally break it down. These enzymes, called formaldehyde dehydrogenases or FDHs, are in every tissue of the human body and work efficiently to break formaldehyde down into a product called formate that then quickly leaves the body through urine. At air levels below 2.0 ppm, these FDHs have proven very effective at processing and removing any formaldehyde we might take in. A very small percentage of the population appears to be particularly sensitive to formaldehyde, not unlike an allergy.
Ultimately every person’s heath is unique, so if you think you might have a sensitivity to formaldehyde, we suggest you contact your doctor for advice. Where Else Might I Be Exposed To Formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde is one of the most commonly used chemicals in the world. It’s found in wood products, clothing, deodorant, shampoo and much, much more. It’s even found in outside air and in our blood. Studies have shown that while almost all of the formaldehyde used in these products is consumed during manufacturing, a small amount remains. This leftover formaldehyde dissipates over time.
Is It A Problem For All RV Owners And Users?

Nearly 8 million families enjoy using RVs right now and there are very, very few complaints of air quality. Any smell of formaldehyde when the RV is brand new typically fades away after a relatively short period of time, not unlike the smell of a new car. If you’re concerned at all, a simple step can help further minimize any exposure: Thoroughly air out your RV before each trip by opening all the windows to allow fresh air in and running the air conditioner and/or fans.
I Have An RV, What Can I Do To Avoid Having Problems?

Ventilate. Open a unit’s windows to allow fresh air in and run any fans and the air conditioner to lower the temperature and humidity before each trip. If a unit has a pungent odor or you experience any irritation, the best bet is to ventilate the unit.
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has suggested the following techniques:
  • When using consumer products that contain formaldehyde (e.g. cleaners, antiseptics, dish-washing liquids, fabric softeners, carpet cleaners, glues, adhesives and lacquers) do so in rooms that provide fresh outdoor air.
  • When using some cosmetics that include high amounts of formaldehyde, such as nail hardeners, avoid doing so in small rooms or ensure plenty of ventilation.
  • As tobacco smoke and exhaust from unvented heaters contain formaldehyde, avoid using these items indoors.
 

Geo

Trader - Funster
Jul 29, 2007
10,903
7,459
Mansfield,Notts
Funster No
35
MH
A class RV and Autotrail
Exp
35 +years with breaks
Thoroughly air out your RV before each trip by opening all the windows to allow fresh air
Were do I get fresh unpoluted non contaminated air from Jim:Doh:
Geo
 

Geo

Trader - Funster
Jul 29, 2007
10,903
7,459
Mansfield,Notts
Funster No
35
MH
A class RV and Autotrail
Exp
35 +years with breaks
You'll be telling me they got a Rugby team next:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 
T

TJ-RV

Deleted User
It's a big issue for some folks Jim, causing burning eyes &/or breathing problems.

The advice we pass along is to leave windows and vents open for as long as it takes to get that smell and irritant out of the RV. It appears to be exacerbated when outside (and therefore inside) temperatures rise significantly. If you enter a very hot new trailer that hasn't been vented, it hits you like a wet blanket.

By far the largest number of complaints has come from the occupants of the emergency trailers (caravans) provided to people displaced from their homes in the south as a result of Katrina. Huge numbers of trailers were produced in a very short space of time and all kinds of compromises were made.
 
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T

TJ-RV

Deleted User
When I was growing up near the steel town of Port Talbot, a comedian on the local radio one day said:

"This is the only place in the country where you wake up in the morning and hear the birds coughing" ::bigsmile:

Folks in California complain about the smog but, when we had Californian visitors to South Wales, I'd drive them past the steel plant and ask "what have you got to complain about?"
 
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R

RockieRV

Deleted User
One of the major concerns about formaldehyde (also known as formalin in the uk) is that it has been listed as a possible carcinogen for many years. (You may remember asbestos was also on this same list for decades).

It has a very distinct pungent odour - if you ever did biology at school pre-1980's it was the liquid preservative used for tissue and animal samples.

As I understand it though, an older vehicle has no formaldehyde present, as it has vented off over the years.......
 
T

TJ-RV

Deleted User
As I understand it though, an older vehicle has no formaldehyde present, as it has vented off over the years.......
Rockie,

I didn't take biology or chemistry but, based purely on observation, your understanding is correct.

However, there also appears to be a big difference between new RVs, apparently due to different materials &/or construction techniques.
 
T

TJ-RV

Deleted User
.... it was the liquid preservative used for tissue and animal samples.
For similar reasons, we advise folks not to use any chemicals in their RV toilet; The formaldehyde inhibits the course of nature.
 

Brisey

LIFE MEMBER
Sep 4, 2007
8,114
17,522
Sutton on Sea
Funster No
223
MH
Coachbuilt
Exp
Since 2003
An RVers greatest exposure to formaldehyde is probably due to the use of propriety toilet chemicals which are mainly formaldehyde based.
 
R

RockieRV

Deleted User
Interestingly, when we got our Fleetwood Flair (which from memory is about ten years old) it still had the manufacturers warning sticker attached to the mirror warning of the dangers of formaldhehyde.

I am now curious to know if new and newish European motorhomes also have this warning, and if not, does that mean there is no presence of formaldehyde in these vehicles.
My guess is that legislation in the States on this type of hazard is vastly different to European regs.

But stickered or not, it is still a concern:Sad:
 

American Dream

Free Member
Aug 20, 2007
6,371
154
Lincoln
Funster No
125
MH
?
Exp
?
An RVers greatest exposure to formaldehyde is probably due to the use of propriety toilet chemicals which are mainly formaldehyde based.
Too right Brian.

The Blue (I won't name it) stuff definately is.!!!!!:Eeek:Just don't lose a bolt down there and start fishing about for it.:RollEyes::ROFLMAO:
 

Brisey

LIFE MEMBER
Sep 4, 2007
8,114
17,522
Sutton on Sea
Funster No
223
MH
Coachbuilt
Exp
Since 2003
Just don't lose a bolt down there and start fishing about for it.

Wouldnt dream of doing that Steve, I leave that sort of job to Pam and her marigolds. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

American Dream

Free Member
Aug 20, 2007
6,371
154
Lincoln
Funster No
125
MH
?
Exp
?
Just don't lose a bolt down there and start fishing about for it.

Wouldnt dream of doing that Steve, I leave that sort of job to Pam and her marigolds. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
Ouch I hope she isn't sitting reading this on her new Laptop.:RollEyes:

BTW is it made in China? Can't recall whether HP have their manufacturing over there.:Blush:
 

American Dream

Free Member
Aug 20, 2007
6,371
154
Lincoln
Funster No
125
MH
?
Exp
?
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L

Lindy-C

Deleted User
Contrary to popular belief there are now far more products that are formaldehyde free than contain/ give off the stuff. If they can find alternatives for loo treatments then why not adhesives?
 
OP
Jim

Jim

Ringleader
Jul 19, 2007
29,146
84,912
Sutton on Sea
Funster No
1
MH
C Class Diesel RV
Exp
Since 1990
I was told years ago that the "new car smell" that we all enjoy is a dangerous cocktail of chemicals. That's why I wont buy Sian a new car. I love her too much::bigsmile:
 

thehutchies

Free Member
Aug 31, 2007
1,534
1,745
The Wheelèd Shed
Funster No
200
MH
.
Exp
.
And it's formaldehyde that causes hangovers!

The best cure for the overproduction of formaldehyde after a session? A dose of alcohol!

It's a win-win situation :ROFLMAO:
 
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