Exposure assessment of formaldehyde and its symptoms among anatomy laboratory workers and medical students

Siti Hajar Ya'acob, Anis Julia Suis, Normah Awang, Mazrura Sahani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Formaldehyde has commonly been used as an embalming agent in the anatomy laboratory besides being used during production of wood, resins and plastics. This current study involved the measurement of formaldehyde exposure level among anatomy laboratory workers and medical students in anatomy laboratory using the NIOSH 2541 method. The study determined the symptoms resulted from formaldehyde exposure using self-reported symptom questionnaire that has been modified. Mean area concentration of formaldehyde 8 h TWA in the dissection hall and specimen preparation laboratory were 0.1±0.03 and 0.17±0.04 ppm, respectively. Both of these formaldehyde concentrations were below the ceiling limit of 0.30 ppm. Statistically, there was no significant difference between the formaldehyde concentration in the dissection hall and specimen preparation laboratory. The personal exposure 15 min STEL formaldehyde concentration was 2.30±1.53 ppm and it was higher than 15 min STEL of 2 ppm. Results from the anatomy laboratory workers and medical students reported through the self-reported symptom questionnaires revealed that the most common symptoms they experienced during working hour and off working hour where eye and nose irritations, which are 71.3%, 57.5 and 4.6, 8%, respectively. In conclusion, the personal exposure 15 min STEL exceeded the US OSHA standard. Even though the formaldehyde concentration for the area was under the limit, still there were risks to develop an adverse health effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2016-2020
Number of pages5
JournalWorld Applied Sciences Journal
Volume28
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Fingerprint

Medical Students
Formaldehyde
Anatomy
Threshold Limit Values
Dissection
Embalming
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (U.S.)
United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Nose
Plastics
Formaldehyde poisoning
Health

Keywords

  • Anatomy laboratory workers
  • Embalming agent
  • Formaldehyde
  • Irritation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Exposure assessment of formaldehyde and its symptoms among anatomy laboratory workers and medical students. / Hajar Ya'acob, Siti; Julia Suis, Anis; Awang, Normah; Sahani, Mazrura.

In: World Applied Sciences Journal, Vol. 28, No. 12, 2013, p. 2016-2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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