Hazards of formaldehyde

From:ANATECH LTD <email@anatechltdusa.com>

Once again the subject of the health risks of formaldehyde have 
arisen, and here yet again are my thoughts on the matter.

A 1 or 3 oz specimen jar of 10% formalin would pose minimal 
(inconsequential) risk to many people, whether it was spilled on the 
floor or counter, or used in the normal fashion.  Anyone sensitized 
to the chemical (and there are many in that category) would be in a 
higher risk category.

However, the real point is that most situations with formalin do not 
involve a single small container.  If yours does, read no further. 
Labs, OR's and clinics that have many of the containers, some of 
which may be large, are in a very different circumstance.  Spill 1 
liter of 10% formalin on the floor, and you have a crisis that 
warrants a well designed spill control plan and trained workers.  CAP 
and other accrediting agencies recognize this.  Open not one but 
several hundred containers and you have longer-term, 
day-in-and-day-out exposure.

Formalin IS a hassle to deal with, not because of ignorant people but 
because of enlightened people doing everything possible to make their 
workplace and outer environment as safe and healthful as possible. 
They deserve the support from all of us; they certainly have mine.

To those of you who are concerned, please contact us.  We can help 
minimize your risks if you must continue to use formalin, or we can 
suggest highly effective alternatives from a variety of commercial 
sources.  As always, if you do not want a sales pitch, tell us up 
front that you want technical information.


Richard W. Dapson, Ph.D.
Anatech Ltd.
Battle Creek, MI
800-ANATECH (800-262-8324)
Web address:  anatechltdusa.com  

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