Employee exposure to Formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is used as a fixative and is found in most laboratories.
- Exposure routes: inhalation; ingestion; skin and/or eye contact.
- Symptoms: irritation of eyes, skin, nose, throat, respiratory system; tearing; coughing; wheezing; dermatitis; potential occupational nasal carcinogen
- Target organs: eyes; skin; respiratory system.
Requirements under OSHA's Standards
29 CFR 1910.1048, OSHA Formaldehyde Standard.
- The employer shall assure that no employee is exposed to an airborne concentration of formaldehyde that exceeds 0.75 parts formaldehyde per million parts of air (0.75 ppm) as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA). [29 CFR 1910.1048(c)(1)]
- The employer shall also assure that no employee is exposed to an airborne concentration of formaldehyde that exceeds two parts formaldehyde per million parts of air (2 ppm) as a 15-minute Short Term Exposure Limit. [29 CFR 1910.1048(c)(2)]
- Appropriate PPE must be provided according to 29 CFR 1910.132 and 29 CFR 1910.133. [29 CFR 1910.1048(h)]
- If there is any possibility that an employee's eyes may be splashed with solutions containing 0.1 percent or greater formaldehyde, the employer shall provide acceptable eyewash facilities within the immediate work area for emergency use. [29 CFR 1910.1048(i)(3)]
29 CFR 1910.1200 OSHA Hazard Communication Standard.
The Hazard Communication Standard requires employers to maintain an SDS, which manufacturers or distributors of formaldehyde are required to provide. The SDS must be kept in an area that is accessible to workers who may be exposed to formaldehyde.
- Formaldehyde. OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page.
- Formaldehyde. National Institute for Safety and Health (NIOSH) Workplace Safety and Health Topic.
- 29 CFR 1910.1450, Occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals in laboratories. OSHA Standard.
- Personal Protective Equipment. OSHA Safety and Health Topics page.