Re: formalin fumes/extraction

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Before my leave from the  hospital scene, I was very active in designing the
rennovation of the Gross Cutting Room.

There were problems with the residents getting noise bleeds, headaches, and in
one case, an inactive asthma became active.  The fumes are for real and do
problems.  I tried to get them to go the employee health, but in most cases
were too busy to be bothered.

The CAP inspections worked for us.  The rennovation was in one of the oldest
buildings to the hospital ( and it was old, old, old ) and probably cost the
hospital in the end the more than $200,000. It was decided to vent the
fumes out
and that meant through eight floors.  Unfortunately, I never had the
to see the fruits of my labor, but I understand it is pretty state of the art,
with ventilated everything.

Until then,  we used above the counter fume extractors which pulled the fumes
into the back of the workbench.  They were noisy.  The residents turned
them off
because they could not hear their dictations and the noise made the
transcriptionist crazy.

A small price to pay for a healthier enivironment.

Rande Kline

Gayle Callis <> on 12/20/99 12:33:24 PM

cc:    (bcc: Rande Kline/EMI/Merck)
Subject:  formalin fumes/extraction

Although I dislike  smelling or coming into contact with
formalin fumes, I have a distinct impression that what drives laboratories
hospitals, etc to eliminate contact with these fumes, is OSHA regulations
in the United States,(possibly other countries have government regulations?
Canada comes to mind, hope they respond).  The punishment
in USA, if one is caught in the fumetrap, is expensive, and you still need
to correct the situation, regardless of proven documentation on effects of
formalin.  Hence, the wrath of the govt may be worse than exposure to
the chemical?????.

Sooooooo -- we have fume hoods in our facility,
avoiding  OSHA anger and whoever else says no no. If an
institution wants to play games and ignore regulations, they will suffer
the consequences of a potential lawsuit from workers, past and present,
in years to come, and then pay millions!!!  This is also true of our
university chemistry labs, who now are updating to protect the students.
Whew, big bucks going out there, so I guess we comply or pay.

Many of us are in old buildings, without adequate financial or physical means
to correct the "fumey" problem, a major difficulty.  The only problem
I have is a fume hood that pulls the fumes into a filter without some
type of outside ventilation.  The filter is eventually saturated, must
be tested in someway, to KNOW when this happens, so that you do not end
up back in the fume smelling mode, still exposing lab workers.  A vicious

I vote for formalin fume control, 'cause I want to live to 200 and bug
my kids for years to come whether documentation is there or not on
effects of formalin exposure.

What a bah humbug message this is, yeeetch!

Gayle Callis

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