Indoor Air Quality Investigation: Formaldehyde Exposure Assessement
Phase II Investigation: Air Quality and Personal Exposure Monitoring
Occupational Exposure Limits and Hygienic Values (1999): Formaldehyde (Formalin):
Passive dosimeter (length-of-stain-tubes) were used on March 18, 1999. The average concentration in the specimen room was approximately 0.2 ppm (tubes #2 and #3, Sensidyne GasTech 91D Passive Dosi-Tube). Additional short-term area monitoring conducted February 24, 1999, had a similar result of 0.1 ppm (Dr�ger 0.2/a short-term tube).
The concentration directly outside the specimen room was below the limits of detection (tube #1), (73F, 35% RH).
Respirator use during specimen disposal project. Cartridges are changed out every three hours as required by OSHA's Formaldehyde Standard.
Worker was monitored for potential exposure to formaldehyde.
Processing and proper disposal of the Lapham-South biological collections took approximately 15 hours of work: 2,522 pounds of specimens were processed, not including the specimens processed by Biological Sciences personnel. The preservatives, presumed to be low concentrations of formaldehyde and alcohol, was decanted off into the sewer. The specimens were washed with water, packaged and put in the dumpster. Some specimen bottles were "leakers", that required spill clean up. Air monitoring was conducted during the early phases of the project. No levels above that which the respirator was designed to handle was measured, even during the spill clean up incidents. However, exposure levels above the Permissible Exposure Limits (without regard to the respirator) were common. The choices of respirator, fume hood, disposal method and, especially, the good technique of the operator appears to have been sound for effective exposure control.
Updated November 16, 2007