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Short-term monitoring of formaldehyde: comparison of two direct-reading instruments to a laboratory-based method.

Myers DVL; Dowell CH; Gressel MG; Flanders WD
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, EPHB 331-05b, 2009 Jun; :1-37
Formaldehyde is used in the production of many household and building products and its health hazards are well recognized. Airborne formaldehyde concentrations can be measured using several different techniques, including laboratory-based methods and direct-reading instruments. For this study, two commercially available direct-reading instruments, an RKI Instruments Model FP-30 and a PPM Technology Formaldemeter(TM) htV, were compared with NIOSH Method 2016 in different test environments to determine if these direct-reading instruments can accurately measure formaldehyde. The RKI Instruments Model FP-30 instrument uses photoelectric photometry technology to measure formaldehyde, while the PPM Technology Formaldemeter(TM) htV instrument uses electrochemical sensing technology. NIOSH Method 2016 is an integrated sampling method that collects formaldehyde on silica gel coated with 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine; the derivitized product (2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazone) is analyzed using high performance liquid chromatography with UV detection. Forty-seven 1-hour integrated air samples were collected and analyzed for formaldehyde using NIOSH Method 2016. Measurements were made simultaneously with both direct-reading instruments and with the NIOSH Method. The methods yielded the following mean concentrations for the 47 samples: NIOSH Method 2016, 0.37 ppm; RKI Instruments Model FP-30, 0.29 ppm; and PPM Technology Formaldemeter(TM) htV, 0.340 ppm. Pearson correlation showed that the NIOSH Method and the PPM Technology Formaldemeter(TM) htV (R2 = 0.902) were more associated than the NIOSH Method and the RKI Instruments Model FP-30 (R2 = 0.780). Comparison of 1-hour integrated samples from the three methods showed that on average the RKI Instruments Model FP-30 instrument (p<0.001) differed significantly from the NIOSH Method 2016, whereas the PPM Technology Formaldemeter(TM) htV (p=0.15) was not significantly different from the NIOSH Method. Sensitivity and specificity tests demonstrated that 1-hour integrated samples with the PPM Technology Formaldemeter(TM) htV was more accurate at measuring formaldehyde concentrations greater than 0.2 ppm, while the RKI Instruments Model FP-30 was better at measuring concentrations less than 0.2 ppm. Although the direct-reading instruments differed from NIOSH Method 2016, scatter plots and correlation tests showed that the 1-hour integrated sample collected with the direct-reading instruments correlated with those from the laboratory-based method.
Formaldehydes; Analytical-Method; Measurement-equipment; Photoelectric-cells; Photometry; Electrochemical-analysis; Air-samplers; Air-sampling-equipment; Air-sampling-techniques; Liquid-chromatography; Sampling-methods; Sensitivity-testing; Laboratory-testing; Region-4
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Applied Research and Technology, Mail Stop R-5, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226
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Field Studies; Control Technology
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NIOSH Division
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health