Formaldehyde is used in the production of building materials, particularly pressed wood products such as plywood and fibreboard and insulation materials.
The chemical also has uses as an industrial disinfectant and a preservative in funeral homes and medical laboratories.
Pungent, irritating odour
Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogenic. Extended exposure is associated with cancers of the lung, throat and nasal passages.
Exposure to high concentrations of formaldehyde gas poses an immediate danger to human health resulting in fluid build-up in the lungs and death.
|0.5 - 2 ppm||Eye, skin and throat irritation|
|3 - 5 ppm||Tearing of the eyes|
|10 - 20 ppm||Burning of nose and throat, difficulty in breathing and heavy tearing of the eyes|
|25 - 50 ppm||Chest tightening, irregular heartbeat, severe lung irritation, pulmonary oedema|
|100 ppm||Immediately dangerous to life and health, death.|
Periodic exposure monitoring
|Health||3||Can cause serious or permanent injury.|
|Flammability||2||Must be moderately heated or exposed to relatively high ambient temperatures before ignition can occur.|
|Instability||0||Normally stable, even under fire conditions|