Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Public Service Message: Formaldehyde Exposure

Medical Management Guidelines for Formaldehyde (HCHO)

Formaldehyde is a nearly colorless gas with a pungent, irritating odor even at very low concentrations (below 1 ppm). Its vapors are flammable and explosive. Because the pure gas tends to polymerize, it is commonly used and stored in solution.

For sensitized persons, odor is not an adequate indicator of formaldehyde's presence and may not provide reliable warning of hazardous concentrations. Odor adaptation can occur.

Adverse effects on the central nervous system such as increased prevalence of headache, depression, mood changes, insomnia, irritability, attention deficit, and impairment of dexterity, memory, and equilibrium have been reported to result from long-term exposure.

Formaldehyde poisoning can cause permanent alterations of nervous system function, including problems with memory, learning, thinking, sleeping, personality changes, depression, headache, and sensory and perceptual changes.

For more information, contact: 
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Division of Toxicology and Human Health Sciences
1600 Clifton Road NE, Mailstop F-57
Atlanta, GA 30333 
Phone: 1-800-CDC-INFO · 888-232-6348 (TTY)
Fax: 1-770-488-4178