Woodstoves, formaldehyde, and respiratory disease

Am J Epidemiol. 1984 Dec;120(6):952-5. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a113966.


Telephone interviews were completed in Western Massachusetts in April 1983 for 399 households (91.5 per cent) in a random sample of households with elementary school children. Woodstoves were used in 64.7 per cent of the homes, but such use was not associated with acute respiratory illness. However, formaldehyde exposure was significantly related, with a risk ratio of 2.4 (95 per cent confidence interval 1.7-3.4). New construction/remodeling and new upholstered furniture had additive effects. Neither woodstove use nor formaldehyde exposure were significantly associated with asthma, chronic bronchitis, or allergies.

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / etiology
  • Bronchitis / etiology
  • Child
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Formaldehyde / adverse effects
  • Heating / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / etiology
  • Interior Design and Furnishings
  • Massachusetts
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / etiology*
  • Risk


  • Formaldehyde