Formaldehyde (systematic name: methanal) is an organic compound with the formula CH2O. As the simplest aldehyde, it is an important precursor to many other chemical compounds, especially for polymers. In 2005, annual world production of formaldehyde was estimated to be 23 million tons (50 billion pounds). In view of its widespread use, toxicity and volatility, exposure to formaldehyde is a significant consideration for human health.