Estimation of occupational formaldehyde exposure in cadaver dissection laboratory and its implications
The formaldehyde (FA) is a universally used chemical for preservation of cadavers in dissection halls. The adverse effects of formalin exposure are health concern to faculty, workers, and students. The benefits of using formalin, its cost effectiveness, and its proper fixation and efficient preservation of tissue, have to outweigh its adverse effects on the health of those working with it. The best way to ensure the benefits outweigh the risks are providing adequate ventilation, using personal protective equipment, and developing awareness of FA’s adverse effects. This study observed that both government and private colleges had better ventilation when more windows and doors were present, but active ventilation strategies like powerful exhaust, along with monitoring of FA level (personal or dissection hall), were needed. Students exposed to FA suffered eye and nose mucosal irritation. But faculty and workers with prolonged exposure to FA had more severe respiratory symptoms and suffered migraines. Hence personal FA monitoring and personal protective equipment must be made mandatory for those with prolonged exposure to FA. In addition, proper ventilation should be in place to reduce formalin vapours levels in workspaces.
Materials and Methods
Conflicts of Interest