Corrected: Possible cancer, formaldehyde link threatens feedstock methanol

09 December 2009 22:19  [Source: ICIS news]

Correction: In the ICIS news story headlined “Possible cancer, methanol link threatens feedstock methanol” dated 9 December 2009, please read the headline as “Possible cancer, formaldehyde link …” instead of “…cancer, methanol link …”

MIAMI (ICIS news)--Growing concerns over the possible links between formaldehyde and cancer is the most important issue facing the formaldehyde and methanol industries, a member of a trade group said on Wednesday.

Formaldehyde accounts for around 30% of methanol demand globally, and any legislation restricting the use of formaldehyde could have a big impact on the methanol industry, said Trond Tenold, a member of the executive committee of the International Methanol Producers and Consumers Association (IMPCA).

"If the worst comes to the worst, the formaldehyde and cancer issue is the single most important issue for the methanol and formaldehyde industries right now," he said.

Tenold was speaking on the sidelines of the CMAI World Methanol Conference.

He added: "It's our job to see that it does not come to the worst. We saw what happened with [methyl tertiary butyl ether]."

Indeed, there is a growing propensity for formaldehyde to be classified as carcinogenic by such groups as the International Agency for the Research of Cancer (IARC) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP), said Betsy Natz, executive director of the Formaldehyde Council, a trade group.

Natz said that more research was needed.

"Regulatory bodies have decided that formaldehyde causes cancer based on one study," she said.

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By: Shelley Kerr
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