Re: Formaldehyde fumes

<< Previous Message | Next Message >> (by way of histonet)
Content-Type:text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Russ Allison in Cardiff asks about actual evidence for the toxicity of
formaldehyde fumes.

We did the Gough/Wentworth technique when I was a resident - only way to
seriously look at a lung at autopsy, but what a gasser!

Formaldehyde is acutely irritating. It's a potent allergen for skin and
respiratory tract, and I've known at least one pathologist who had a great
deal of difficulty practicing his specialty because he became sensitized to

As far as I know, there is no evidence for its carcinogenicity in people.
Apparently it is an upper respiratory carcinogen for rats.

I think the regulatory agencies have overreacted to the problem, but I do
think that formaldehyde needs to be handled by biologists with as much
respect - and ventilation - as the regulatory agencies require for the
textile industry.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

<< Previous Message | Next Message >>