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Formaldehyde Dangers and Formaldehyde Fume Extraction

Formaldehyde is a common chemical component found in many applications including, biology and histology applications where formaldehyde is a fixative; instances where it is used as a disinfectant to kill bacteria and spores; and hair styling procedures such as BKT and Brazilian Blowout. Whether in products or in the air, formaldehyde vapors are extremely hazardous to ones health. Exposure to formaldehyde vapors have been known to cause damage to the eyes and may cause cancer. Even at low concentrations in the air, workers are at risk of exposure.

Despite its health hazards, formaldehyde is a useful additive in products and can be found in many workplace settings. Because of this, it is important to know exposure limits and reduction methods. OSHA’s permissible exposure limit (PEL) for formaldehyde is .75 parts per million (ppm) as a time-weighted average over an 8-hour period. The short-term, 15-minute exposure limit is 2 ppm.

Same exposure limits apply to other forms of formaldehyde, which may be called “methylene glycol”, “formalin”, “methylene oxide”, “paraform”, “formic aldehyde”, “methanal”, “oxomethane”, “oxymethylene” or by CAS Number 50-00-0.

Sentry Air Systems offers fume extractors that utilize a powerful fan and specially-treated formaldehyde [aldehyde] carbon filters that work to pull harmful formaldehyde vapors away from the operator’s breathing zone and directly into the filter. Our formaldehyde carbon filters [aldehyde] have been tested by a third-party industrial hygienist and found to be very effective in capturing formaldehyde fumes. Results from that test are documented here.

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