Formaldehyde_FS_3.doc - Formaldehyde is a colorless...

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Formaldehyde Fact Sheet CHEMICAL AND PHYSICAL PROPERTIES Formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling gas. It is commonly used in liquid form as a 40% aqueous solution known as formalin and in solid form as a fine, white powder called paraformaldehyde. Formalin can release formaldehyde gas, especially when poured or spilled over a large surface area, creating a potential inhalation exposure. Paraformaldehyde, when heated, depolymerizes back to formaldehyde. If paraformaldehyde is added to water and heated, the resulting gas immediately dissolves making a formalin solution. HEALTH HAZARDS / TOXICITY Formaldehyde, formalin, and paraformaldehyde are potential human carcinogens (nasal and lung), irritants, and chemical sensitizers. Ingestion: Formaldehyde is a poison and formalin or paraformaldehyde may be fatal if ingested. Ingestion can also cause severe irritation of the mouth, throat and stomach. Symptoms of exposure may include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal irritation and/or diarrhea. Inhalation: Symptoms of exposure to vapors include irritation of the respiratory tract, tightening of the chest, headaches, and palpitations of the heart. Repeated exposure to formaldehyde vapors, even at very low concentrations, can leads to respiratory sensitization resulting in an allergic reaction similar to asthma.
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