One of the airborne pollutants in wood products industry is formaldehyde, which may pose some health effects. Therefore this study is conducted to determine formaldehyde levels in 100 furniture-manufacturing workshops in Ankara and also to determine the symptoms, which may be related with formaldehyde exposure among the workers. Indoor formaldehyde levels ranged from 0.02 ppm to 2.22 ppm with a mean of 0.6 +/- 0.3 ppm. Outdoor formaldehyde levels also ranged from 0.0 ppm to 0.08 ppm with a mean of 0.03 +/- 0.03 ppm. Formaldehyde levels were higher in workplaces located at basement than in workplaces located at or above ground level (p < 0.01). An association was found between indoor formaldehyde levels and the types of fuel used (p < 0.05). The levels were higher in workplaces where only sawdust was used for heating, than in workplaces where wood, coal, and sawdust are used (p = 0.02). An association was found between runny nose and indoor formaldehyde levels (p = 0.03). Formaldehyde levels were lower in workplaces where employees had no symptoms than in those where employees had 4 or more symptoms (p = 0.02). Of 229 employees 57 subjects (24.9%) work under the formaldehyde levels of 0.75 ppm and above. Thus, approximately one fourth of the employees in workplaces are working in environments with formaldehyde levels exceeding those permitted by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The employees working in small-scale furniture workshops are at risk of formaldehyde exposure. Measures, such as improved ventilation,have to be taken in these workplaces, in order to decrease the formaldehyde levels.(c) 2005 Tohoku University Medical Press.