Skip to main content
placeholder image

Managing formaldehyde exposure in modern university anatomy laboratories: how low can we go?

Conference Paper


Abstract


  • With substantial information available regarding controlling formaldehyde exposure, modern University anatomy laboratories are likely to have formaldehyde exposure within acceptable limits when compared to the current Australian workplace exposure standards (WES).

    There is substantial evidence classifying Formaldehyde as carcinogenic to humans, namely strong evidence of nasopharyngeal cancer and leukaemia (IARC, 2012). However, ongoing research challenges the original conclusions about formaldehyde being a human carcinogen (Swenberg et.al, 2013); (Marsh et.al, 2016); (Kwon et.al, 2018) and further identifies exposure associations with other health conditions, such as adverse reproductive health risks (Wang et.al, 2015).

    As further research develops, there is a drive to set workplace exposure standards lower than previously determined. The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH, 2017) have recommended lowering the Threshold Limit Value (TLV) and Short-Term Exposure Limit (STEL) to 0.1 ppm and 0.3 ppm respectively to minimise the potential for sensory irritation in the eye and upper respiratory tract with consideration also to upper respiratory tract cancer.

    This study focussed on formaldehyde exposure assessment of research and teaching activities within recently constructed anatomy laboratories using the American Industrial Hygiene Association (2015) exposure assessment strategies to address baseline exposure assessment and ascertain compliance to anticipated lower WES.

    It was anticipated some tasks and activity may exceed the conservative exposure standards recommended by the ACGIH (2017) prompting further action to embrace new technology and recalibrate our targets to minimise exposures as low as reasonably practicable.

Publication Date


  • 2019

Citation


  • McPhail, L., Apthorpe, L. & Whitelaw, J. (2019). Managing formaldehyde exposure in modern university anatomy laboratories: how low can we go?. 37th Annual Conference & Exhibition of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists Inc Tullamarine: Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists.

Place Of Publication


  • Tullamarine

Abstract


  • With substantial information available regarding controlling formaldehyde exposure, modern University anatomy laboratories are likely to have formaldehyde exposure within acceptable limits when compared to the current Australian workplace exposure standards (WES).

    There is substantial evidence classifying Formaldehyde as carcinogenic to humans, namely strong evidence of nasopharyngeal cancer and leukaemia (IARC, 2012). However, ongoing research challenges the original conclusions about formaldehyde being a human carcinogen (Swenberg et.al, 2013); (Marsh et.al, 2016); (Kwon et.al, 2018) and further identifies exposure associations with other health conditions, such as adverse reproductive health risks (Wang et.al, 2015).

    As further research develops, there is a drive to set workplace exposure standards lower than previously determined. The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH, 2017) have recommended lowering the Threshold Limit Value (TLV) and Short-Term Exposure Limit (STEL) to 0.1 ppm and 0.3 ppm respectively to minimise the potential for sensory irritation in the eye and upper respiratory tract with consideration also to upper respiratory tract cancer.

    This study focussed on formaldehyde exposure assessment of research and teaching activities within recently constructed anatomy laboratories using the American Industrial Hygiene Association (2015) exposure assessment strategies to address baseline exposure assessment and ascertain compliance to anticipated lower WES.

    It was anticipated some tasks and activity may exceed the conservative exposure standards recommended by the ACGIH (2017) prompting further action to embrace new technology and recalibrate our targets to minimise exposures as low as reasonably practicable.

Publication Date


  • 2019

Citation


  • McPhail, L., Apthorpe, L. & Whitelaw, J. (2019). Managing formaldehyde exposure in modern university anatomy laboratories: how low can we go?. 37th Annual Conference & Exhibition of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists Inc Tullamarine: Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists.

Place Of Publication


  • Tullamarine