Health Risk factors of Formaldehyde as comman fumigation (why banned)


Fumigation is traditional method in which predefined ratio of formaldehyde and potassium permagnate is used for killing of microorganisms in all over pharma companies of India .Formaldehyde is a toxic,irritant and flammable at room temperature. As formaldehyde produce fumes after reaction with potassium permagnate has potential health effects in human and animals.

Formaldehyde is a highly reactive molecule that can be directly irritating to tissues with which it comes into contact. In studies it indicates that formaldehyde at certain exposure levels,can be irritating to lungs cause asthma and eyes with inhalation exposure to skin with Dermal exposure and to Gastrointestinal with Oral exposure. Some studies of humans exposed repeatedly to formaldehyde in workplace air found more cases of nose and throat cancer than expected.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have characterized formaldehyde as a human carcinogen based on studies of inhalation exposure in humans and laboratory animals.

“Formaldehyde is a Schedule 1 chemical under the control of substance hazardous to health (COSHH) Regulations and has a Workplace Exposure Limit (WEL) of 2 ppm (or 2.5 mg).”

Concentrations encountered during fumigation are many hundreds of times higher than this, so fumigation operations must be carried out only by trained personnel under strictly defined conditions. All workers using formaldehyde must be aware of safe handling procedures. If formaldehyde vapor is used as a fumigant, it is important that nobody is exposed to the ‘workplace exposure limit’ of 2 ppm. A formaldehyde meter is available from the Biological Safety Advisor to monitor levels during the fumigation procedure.