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Toxic Tort Attorney reviewing toxic exposure lawsuits for plaintiffs nationwide
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Formaldehyde Exposure Lawsuits

Formaldehyde is used in numerous industrial and household applications. Large amounts of formaldehyde-based materials are produced in the United States each year for use in components of many end-use consumer products, auto parts and wood-based building materials.

The chemical is a versatile component of many everyday products even though long-term studies of people exposed to formaldehyde in the workplace have found link to cancer of the nasal sinuses, lung cancer, nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal cancer, and leukemia.

Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable gas with a pungent, distinct odor. The primary means of exposure is inhaling the chemical. Formaldehyde can be found in the air surrounding power plants and manufacturing facilities, in automobile exhaust, tobacco smoke, and in many consumer products handled by people every day.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati, Ohio Toxic Tort Lawyer who has represented individuals nationwide in toxic tort claims. If you have been exposed to Formaldehyde, and have questions about your legal rights, please contact The Lyon Firm.

Formaldehyde Exposure Cancer Risk

A large number of American workers are potentially exposed to formaldehyde at the workplace, which may later lead to the development of cancer. Types of employees at risk for exposure to formaldehyde include:

•    Dentists
•    Doctors and nurses
•    Embalmers
•    Wood workers
•    Flooring installers
•    Auto workers
•    Lab technicians
•    Teachers in laboratory settings
•    Veterinarians
•    Workers in the clothing industry
•    Furniture factory workers


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Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.

The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.


The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.

Commercial Applications

•    Wood Products—Formaldehyde is widely used to make resins for wood products. Composite and engineered wood products such as cabinetry, countertops, moldings, furniture, shelving, stair systems, flooring, wall sheathing, support beams and trusses use formaldehyde resins.
•    Drugs and Vaccines—Formaldehyde is used in the manufacture of vaccines, anti-infective drugs and hard-gel capsules.
•    Auto Industry—Formaldehyde-based resins are used to make interior molded auto parts, particularly components that must withstand high temperatures. The same toxic resins are also used to produce exterior primers, clear coat paints, tire-cord adhesives, brake pads, brake shoes, clutch disks and fuel system components.
•    Personal Care—Formaldehyde is commonly used in many household products, not generally thought to be toxic. Many personal care items may contain formaldehyde-based ingredients, used as preservatives to extend the product shelf life. The chemical also is sometimes used in cosmetics, lotions, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and fingernail polish.

Other products that may contain formaldehyde include:

•    Antiseptics and other cleaning agents
•    Carpets
•    Fertilizers
•    Wood Furniture
•    Plywood
•    Particle-board
•    Medicines and vitamins
•    Paints
•    Varnishes
•    Preserved foods
•    Brake pads
•    Brake shoes
•    Clutch disks
•    Decorative laminates
•    Flooring
•    Textiles (cotton blends, wrinkle resistant fabric)
•    Sand molds
•    Paper

Formaldehyde Hazards

The highest potential exposure occurs in the formaldehyde-based resins industry. Workers may be exposed to high air concentrations or dermal exposure. Workers using or producing the following may be at heightened risk:

•    Formica
•    Micarta
•    Rayon
•    Lamitex
•    Paxoline
•    Paxolin
•    Phenolic paper
•    Synthetic Resin Bonded Paper (SRBP)
•    Veroboard

Formaldehyde Linked to Cancer

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) classifies formaldehyde as “known to be a human carcinogen.” Epidemiological studies of employees exposed to formaldehyde in the workplace have reported a link between toxic exposure and cancer.

These studies primarily observed workers in occupational settings that use or make formaldehyde resins, as well as at people who work as embalmers.

Several studies have found that embalmers and medical professionals that use formaldehyde have an increased risk of leukemia, particularly myeloid leukemia.

One study found that workers exposed to formaldehyde had elevated levels of chromosome changes in early white blood cells in their bone marrow, supporting the link between formaldehyde exposure and leukemia. National Cancer Institute researchers have also concluded that exposure to formaldehyde may cause leukemia.

Embalmers Toxic Exposure

Several studies have found that embalmers and medical professionals that use formaldehyde have an increased risk of leukemia, particularly acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Some studies of industrial workers exposed to formaldehyde have also found increased risks of leukemia, but not all studies have shown an increased risk.

Long durations of exposure used for embalming in the funeral industry are associated with an increased risk of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The number of years of embalming work with formaldehyde exposure is associated with a significant increase in mortality from acute myeloid leukemia. The greatest risk exists among embalmers who practice for over 20 years.

Embalming fluid is a mixture of chemicals that includes various preservatives, germicides, buffers, wetting agents, anticoagulants, dyes, and perfuming agents. Formalin, a commercial source of formaldehyde, is the most common chemical used for this purpose. Medical staff and embalmers regularly handing Formalin, or other formaldehyde-based solutions, are at risk of exposure through chronic inhalation and skin contact.

Embalmers and medical professionals can reduce the toxic effects of fumes during dissection and embalming by the following measures:

•    Use embalming fluid with a lesser concentration of chemicals
•    Workplace Ventilation Risks
•    Install eye washing stations and negative pressure pump systems
•    Use gloves, apron and mask to avoid direct skin contact
•    Avoid working between exhaust vents and the source of toxic fumes

Formaldehyde Exposure: Signs and Symptoms

When formaldehyde is present in the air at a particular work site, exposed workers may have adverse reactions and negative health effects that may include the following:
•    Burning sensations of the eyes, nose, and throat
•    Coughing
•    Wheezing
•    Nausea
•    Skin irritation and reactions

The Lyon Firm is experienced in filing workplace injury and toxic exposure lawsuits against chemical companies and employers who fail to follow basic OSHA safety guidelines, leading to injuries and personal injury claims.

photo of attorney Joe Lyon reviewing formaldehyde exposure cases
A Voice for Those who have suffered 

Why are these cases important?

Toxic exposure cases help empower employees to fight for their right to be protected, satisfactorily informed, and to stay safe. They also bring awareness to challenge and higher the expectations of companies who are not serving their employees justly.


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Questions about Formaldehyde Exposure

Can you file a formaldehyde Exposure Lawsuit?

If you have suffered an illness or cancer potentially linked to workplace toxic exposure, contact an attorney to investigate. 

what are the symptoms of formaldehyde exposure?
Common symptoms include:
  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Dizziness & nausea
What products contain formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde is often found in:

  • Resins used in the manufacture of composite wood products (i.e., hardwood plywood, particleboard and medium-density fiberboard);
  • Building materials and insulation;
  • Household products such as glues, permanent press fabrics, paints and coatings, lacquers and finishes, and paper products;
  • Preservatives used in some medicines, cosmetics and other consumer products such as dishwashing liquids and fabric softeners; and
  • Fertilizers and pesticides.
how dangerous is formaldehyde?

Ingestion of formaldehyde can be fatal, and long-term exposure to low levels in the air or on the skin can cause asthma-like respiratory problems and skin irritation such as dermatitis and itching. 

Is formaldehyde considered a carcinogen?

The EPA has classified formaldehyde as a “probable carcinogen.” National Cancer Institute researchers have concluded that, based on data from studies in people and from lab research, acute or chronic exposure to formaldehyde can cause leukemia. 

Our Victories

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to toxic products to obtain just compensation under the law. 


(Hamilton County, Ohio): Confidential Settlement. Lead Counsel in a case that involved secondary lead exposure to two children. Their father worked at a local recycling plant that routinely recycled computer equipment. The company violated numerous OSHA regulations related to providing safety equipment and clothing to prevent lead particles from being transferred home. As a result, the Plaintiffs father transferred lead dust to his children who then suffered lead poisoning. The case was covered extensively by the Cincinnati news media and referenced in peer-reviewed medical literature. The settlement will provide educational needs to the children who suffered neurological injuries due the exposure.