General Toxicity of Formaldehyde
Over the past two decades, there have been many documented cases of acute and chronic toxicities in humans due to accidental formaldehyde exposure through polluted air, water, and contaminated food. Studies have revealed that the small, reactive aldehyde is toxic to the neural, immune and blood forming systems, and is also genotoxic. In this chapter, supporting evidence for formaldehyde-induced hematotoxicity in humans and animals are collectively summarized with a general review of a number of China-based studies. Additionally, genotoxicity, including the formation of DNA–protein crosslinks, DNA adducts, and chromosomal alterations, is described. Hematotoxicity and genotoxicity are most likely implicated in the basic molecular mechanisms of formaldehyde-induced leukemia and carcinogenesis.