- Safety and Health Topics
Formaldehyde is common to the chemical industry. International production was over 46 billion pounds in 2004, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). It is well known as a preservative in medical laboratories, as an embalming fluid, and as a sterilizer. Its primary use is in the production of resins and as a chemical intermediate. Urea-formaldehyde (UF) and phenol formaldehyde (PF) resins are used in foam insulations, as adhesives in the production of particle board and plywood, and in the treating of textiles.
Exposures to formaldehyde are addressed in specific OSHA standards for General Industry, Shipyard Employment and Construction.
Provides references that may aid in recognizing formaldehyde hazards in the workplace.
Provides information about the management of occupational exposures to formaldehyde.
Provides references provide possible solutions for formaldehyde hazards in the workplace.
Provides links and references to additional resources related to formaldehyde.
Workers have the right to:
- Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
- Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary the worker understands) about workplace hazards, methods to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
- Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
- File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA's rules. OSHA will keep all identities confidential.
- Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA. If a worker has been retaliated against for using their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days.
For additional information, see OSHA's Workers page.
How to Contact OSHA
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov or call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), TTY 1-877-889-5627.