Evaluating Exposure

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
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.
  • Sampling and Analytical Methods. OSHA. Provides an alphabetical listing of chemicals that have either a validated or partially validated OSHA method.
    • Acrolein and/or Formaldehyde. Method 52, (June 1989). Includes validated sampling and analysis method for the determination of formaldehyde in workplace air.

For additional information, see OSHA's Sampling and Analysis Safety and Health Topics Page.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)