Formaldehyde exposure is most common through gas-phase inhalation. However, it can also occur through liquid-phase skin absorption. Workers may be exposed during direct production, treatment of materials, and production of resins. Health care professionals; pathology and histology technicians; and teachers and students who handle preserved specimens are potentially at high risk. Consumers may receive exposures from building materials, cosmetics, home furnishings, and textiles. The following references provide information about the management of occupational exposures to formaldehyde.
- Dermal Exposure. OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page. Addresses dermal hazards to chemicals that can cause dermatitis or otherwise damage the skin, as well as to chemicals that can enter the body through intact skin and cause other toxic effects.
- Medical Management Guidelines for Formaldehyde (HCHO). Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Includes routes of exposure, health effects, prehospital and emergency department management, as well as patient information.
- Patient Information Sheet. Provides information for persons who may have been exposed to formaldehyde gas or solution (formalin).
Sampling and Analysis
- OSHA Occupational Chemical Database. OSHA's premier one-stop shop for occupational chemical information. It compiles information from several government agencies and organizations. Information available on the pages includes chemical identification and physical properties, exposure limits, sampling information, and additional resources.
For additional information, see OSHA's Sampling and Analysis Safety and Health Topics Page.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM). NMAM is a collection of methods for sampling and analysis of contaminants in workplace air, and in the blood and urine of workers who are occupationally exposed. NMAM also includes chapters on quality assurance, sampling, portable instrumentation, etc.