Testing for Formaldehyde and other VOCs

Travel trailer

I live full time in a 2004 Travel Trailer, and I think it’s making me sick. How can I test for formaldehyde poisoning and other pollutants? -Robin

Hi Robin,
You are wise to be concerned about your indoor air quality, particularly in the confined spaces of a trailer, since the outgassing of formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by certain building materials has become a major health concern in recent years.

Environmental testing firms can check air samples for the presence of formaldehyde and other harmful chemicals. Look in your phone book or check online for a company in your area. You will be provided with an absorbent badge that is exposed to the air for a specified period of time, then mailed or dropped off for testing. Costs range from $40 to over $100.

To find more about formaldehyde and other VOCs, check out our article oand video on Going Green on our website.



  1. Recently the use of Polyurethane was used for cabinets, below my apartment…later I was smelling the polyurethane (I thought was nail polish and called maintenance. 9PM..) I advised him of the smell and ask what did they use below me because it was causing eye to irritate and thoat. He said that the polyurethane was used to repair cabinets and that, because the maintenanc was late..the apartment had to be closed because of new appliances in the unit. I had to open my windows and I shut off my heat control, AND OPENED WINDOWS TO SLEEP..this was annoying. THANKS. L.L.WASHHNGTON

    P.S. What should I do they are now working in the bathroom.


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