Common Uses

Formaldehyde’s use as an inactivating agent in vaccines is clearly defined and well-regulated by the FDA. Formaldehyde is used to inactivate viruses so that they don’t cause disease (e.g., polio virus used to make polio vaccine) and to detoxify bacterial toxins, such as the toxin used to make diphtheria vaccine.

Furniture, Flooring, Stairs, Cabinets and More
Glues that use formaldehyde as a building block are exceptional bonding agents. For example, formaldehyde-based resins are used to manufacture composite products used extensively in cabinetry, countertops, moldings, furniture, shelving, stair systems, flooring and many other household furnishings. These items are extremely economical due to the superior bonding properties and efficient production of formaldehyde-based glues.

Cars and Trucks
From the front to the rear bumpers, formaldehyde-based materials are key to the manufacture of automobiles and are used to make components for the transmission, electrical system, engine block, door panels, axles and brake shoes, just to name a few. It's even used in the paint.

Formaldehyde-based materials are used to produce the dollar bills we spend every day, the documents we print from our computers and the ink used in books, magazines and newspapers.

Wrinkle-Free Clothing
In textiles, formaldehyde-based materials help bind dyes and pigments to fabrics and prevent the colors from running. These materials also help improve a fabric's resistance to wrinkles and ease clothing care and maintenance.

Industry Uses
Formaldehyde is an important building block chemical that is vital to our economy. The wood products industry uses formaldehyde-based resins in a wide range of panel and board products, enabling efficient and economic use of wood resources. It is also important to agricultural and recreational products.

In addition, the natural gas and petroleum industries use formaldehyde-based resins in drilling operations, to increase oil and gas well yield and to improve service life. Formaldehyde-based glues help paint to adhere to surfaces, and veneer and paper overlays to adhere to particleboard.

Formaldehyde's Unique Nature
Because of its unique and versatile nature, formaldehyde cannot easily be replaced in many consumer and industrial products. Without formaldehyde as the building block, the performance and value of a broad array of products that benefit from its chemistry would be compromised. Home buyers could face increased costs and reduced performance from home construction materials ranging from hardwood plywood, particleboard and fiberboard used in housing and furniture.