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HHE determination report no. HHE-79-146-670, Cincinnati, College of Mortuary Science, Embalming Laboratory, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HHE 79-146-670, 1980 Mar; :1-12
Environmental and personal air samples were collected on October 2, 1979 at the Embalming Laboratory of the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, (SIC-8221) to determine exposure to embalming chemicals. Measurements also were made to determine the efficiency of the ventilation system. The evaluation was prompted by the early disability retirement of one of five embalming instructors. Analysis of environmental samples indicated no phenol (108952) overexposure. Two of three area samples for formaldehyde (50000) exceeded the current 8 hour OSHA standard of 3.0 parts per million (ppm). Most of the full-time employees had positive histories of hay fever allergies. At this time, the ventilation system was not fully operational. During conditions requiring increased use and concentrations of embalming fluids, all employees suffered burning eyes and nose, lacrimation, cough, headache, and dryness of mouth and throat. NIOSH concluded that a hazard from overexposure to embalming chemicals, including formaldehyde, did exist. Recommendations include the use of protective clothing and evaluation of the present exhaust system. A formaldehyde meter with an audible alarm system should be installed to indicate concentrations above 1.0 ppm.
NIOSH-Author; HHE-79-146-670; Region-5; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Colleges; Hazards-Confirmed; Funeral-service; Morticians; Aldehydes; Carcinogens; Organic-solvents; Work-practices; Air-sampling; Air-contaminants; Allergic-reactions; Personal-protective-clothing; Author Keywords: embalming fluids; formaldehyde; ventilation
Field Studies; Health Hazard Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: March 11, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division