Editor's Note: After this story was reported on Tuesday, Nov. 11, "Good Morning America" was contacted by the trade group representing formaldehyde manufacturers with a response. Read that response below and visit The Formaldehyde Council's web site by clicking here.
As the leading resource for information about formaldehyde we would like to offer a few additional points that might benefit viewers. First, synthetic materials used to make clothing -- such as the bras in the story -- are not treated with any products derived from formaldehyde. It's even harder to imagine that the bras were inadvertently contacted with formaldehyde -- that's because it quickly dissipates in air, water and sunlight. It's telling that the plaintiff's lawyers haven't released their lab test specifics -- especially since false positives for formaldehyde are common in trace amounts.
But if the plaintiff and her doctor are concerned that she had an allergic reaction to formaldehyde, as the story indicates, there's an easy way to find out. Doctors typically give a simple, harmless allergy patch test to determine the precise cause of a reaction. According to the public court documents in the case, plaintiff has inexplicably refused to take that test.
When serious health accusations are made publicly, journalists have an extra duty to apply verification and skepticism about the claims. A story involving the Victoria's Secret brand may have a certain sex appeal but viewers deserve to know that the claims made by the source are unproven, untested, and highly implausible.
The Formaldehyde Council, Inc.