Formaldehyde Safety


  • Formaldehyde vapor irritates the respiratory tract and eyes; the solution also irritates skin. Report any symptoms immediately. 
  • Use formaldehyde in a chemical hood or well-ventilated room vented to the outdoors. If you can smell formaldehyde, ventilation is inadequate. The need for initial and subsequent ongoing exposure monitoring should be determined and scheduled as per OSHA 29 C.F.R. § 1910.1048.
  • Use closed dispensing systems to reduce airborne concentrations and prevent contact with the liquid. Cap even empty containers immediately.
  • If contact with solution is likely, wear butyl rubber or nitrile gloves, aprons, and nonvented chemical splash goggles. (Wear a face guard when dispensing large amounts.) Wear a personal respirator with NIOSH-approved cartridges if engineering and/or administrative controls fail to maintain an airborne concentration of <0.75 ppm, and be sure a proper OSHA respiratory protection program (29 C.F.R. § 1910.134) and medical screening and training of workers has been implemented.
  • Formaldehyde is combustible and toxic; know storage, labeling, and first aid procedures.
  • In the event of a small spill (<1 gallon), contain liquid and absorb using proper chemical absorbent.
  • In the event of a large spill (>1 gallon), remove all sources of ignition, leave the area, and close the doors. Call for properly equipped cleanup personnel.
  • Dispose of formaldehyde-contaminated wastes as per state and local regulations.

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