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Smartphone App for Residential Testing of Formaldehyde (SmART-Form): a community science effort to measure formaldehyde in the home environment.

What is the plan?

To design a low-cost, accessible system for measuring formaldehyde concentrations in residential environments using emerging technology from Morphix Technologies. There are two main components involved:

  • BADGE is a reactive postcard, to be unwrapped and placed in home for 72 hours, developed and manufactured by Morphix Technologies.
  • APP contains a function to quantify the color-change of badge, and relate that to an airborne formaldehyde concentration (Ohio State University leads this), see

Additionally you can download the beta versions of the app for Andriod and iPhone.

To see the latest progress on this project, please search the tag “smart-form”. To receive updates on this project, click the button labelled Follow smart-form on that page.


Title Author Updated Likes
Formaldehyde validation @Ag8n 5 days ago
Formaldehyde levels @Ag8n 9 days ago
Who is developing smart-form? @liz 4 months ago

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Who is working on this?

This is a collaboration among researchers at Ohio State University, the Building Energy and Environmental Systems Laboratory at Syracuse University, and Public Lab.

Background on this project

This project is made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation. More information about the grant and scoping of this project can be found in this research note by Open Air Fellow Nick Shapiro. The first project report can be found in this research note. More information about the development of the app's user interface can be found here and addition app information can be found on Ohio State University’s SmART-Form page.

Background on the problem of indoor formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable gas that can have significant health impacts. Formaldehyde is a common component in adhesives and resins used frequently in building materials, and is found in many household products including cosmetics and detergents. Exposure to formaldehyde can result in respiratory irritation, headaches, and nausea, and chronic exposure can be carcinogenic. For a quick summary of formaldehyde exposure basics, please see the ASTDR’s ToxFAQs for Formaldehyde. For much more in-depth information, please see the ASTDR’s Toxicological Profile for Formaldehyde.

Background on regulating and remediating indoor formaldehyde

Residential indoor and outdoor ambient air formaldehyde are not regulated in the United States. With known severe health impacts, it is important that people be able to monitor and mitigate their own exposure to formaldehyde, especially as we cannot rely on a regulatory body to do so. In this project, we are developing a free smartphone application that will read a low-cost colorimetric formaldehyde sensor (developed by Morphix Technologies) to quantify the concentration of formaldehyde in the air. Our goal is to create an accessible way for individuals to assess their exposure to formaldehyde. Other ongoing projects seek to develop accessible formaldehyde remediation potential.

formaldehyde indoor-air-quality-monitoring indoor-air-quality smart-form