Formaldehyde was monitored in the workplace environment of an adhesive manufacturer producing formaldehyde and urea-formaldehyde resin using a cost-effective sol-gel-based sensor. The sensor was first evaluated by comparing its performance to the conventional 2,4-dinitrophynylhydrazine-devivatization method (2,4-DNPH) followed by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to a UV detector. The formaldehyde concentrations obtained by both techniques were not significantly different. The cost-effective sol-gel-based sensor was then used for monitoring formaldehyde levels in the laboratories, production areas and storage room. Formaldehyde concentrations in this adhesive manufacturer workplace environment were lower than the limit value of, 0.75 ppm for an 8-h time weight average and 2 ppm for a short-term exposure (15 min). However, the cancer risk for employees who worked in the laboratories, (1.7±0.7)×10(-4)-(5±2)×10(-4), were higher than the acceptable cancer risk recommended by the US EPA (10(-6)). Therefore, some precaution should be taken to reduce the risk, such as an increase of ventilation to dilute the levels of formaldehyde and use air cleaners to remove formaldehyde.