Preliminary Risk Assessment Posed by Formaldehyde Residues in Clothing to Vietnamese Consumers: Critical Observation

The assessment of potential health risks posed by formaldehyde in clothing to consumers is of
increasing concern worldwide. Because of this, it is necessary to develop an exposure model that can
realistically mimic clothes wearing conditions. This study aims to preliminarily develop a health risk
assessment model for formaldehyde in clothing, and then to assess the potential health risk posed by
formaldehyde in textiles to adults and infants in Vietnam using the model. Finally, this study aims to
examine the plausibility of the adopted permissible values for formaldehyde in clothing in Vietnam. In
the model, two exposure factors for dermal exposure and overall exposure routes, i.e. sweat type and
perspiration area, were considered. The margins of exposure (MOE) were calculated to estimate the
health risks from worst case and average exposures. The assessment shows that acute exposure via
inhalation can pose health risks to Vietnamese consumers in both cases. In regards to chronic
exposure, dermal exposure is about four (for infants) and seven (for adults) times higher than
exposure via inhalation, but no risks were found for average exposure. If a MOE of 100 is defined as
‘safe’ used, dermal and total chronic exposure to worst case cause potential risks, whereas no health
risks were found for exposure to average case. With the model, the adopted Vietnamese permissible
values for formaldehyde in clothing were assessed as not posing a health risk to Vietnamese
consumers, hence they are accepted.

Author(s) Details

Dr. Van Nam Thai
HUTECH Institute of Applied Sciences, Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (HUTECH), Vietnam.

Akihiro Tokai
Division of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan.

Huy Ba Le
Ho Chi Minh City University of Food Industry- HUFI, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

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