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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-84-098-1497, University Of Pennsylvania Medical Education Building, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 84-098-1497, 1984 Aug; :1-16
Breathing zone samples were analyzed for formaldehyde (50000) and phenol (108952) at the Medical Education building, University of Pennsylvania (SIC-8221), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in April, 1984. The survey was requested by the Director of Environmental Health and Safety of the University to evaluate formaldehyde and phenol exposures of dental students and instructors during dissection of cadavers in a gross anatomy course. Ventilation in the building was evaluated. Formaldehyde and phenol were detected in all samples, their concentrations being 0.43 to 2.01 and 1.3 to 5.0 parts per million (ppm), respectively. The OSHA standards for formaldehyde and phenol are 3ppm and 5ppm, respectively. Ventilation measurements indicated inadequate air exchange within the laboratories and movement of air from inside the laboratory to the corridors. The author notes that although formaldehyde concentrations did not exceed the OSHA standard, they did exceed the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists proposed standard of 1ppm. He concludes that students and instructors are overexposed to formaldehyde while dissecting and examining embalmed cadavers. He recommends that the concentrations of formaldehyde and phenol in the embalming solution be reduced and that ventilation in the laboratories be improved.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Confirmed; Medical-facilities; Region-3; Medical-personnel; Education; Air-quality-measurement; Organic-vapors; HETA-84-098-1497; Author Keywords: Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools; Formaldehyde; Phenol; Gross Anatomy Lab; Ventilation; Irritation
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division