268857 Case Study: Evaluating Formaldehyde Exposure in an Anatomy Laboratory. A Win-Win Approach

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 1:10 PM - 1:30 PM

Ingrid Zubieta, MPH, CIH , Health Science Associates, Los Alamitos, CA
Howard Spielman, CIH, CSP, REHS , Health Science Associates, Los Alamitos, CA
This case study identified and evaluated formaldehyde exposure in an anatomy laboratory of a community college. During the experimental sessions, formaldehyde vapors were emitted from laboratory specimens and human cadavers resulting in the exposure of students, technicians and instructors to elevated levels of formaldehyde. Health Science Associates conducted a comprehensive exposure assessment, which included personal and area air sampling. The findings revealed that the personnel were exposed to levels exceeding the ceiling limit of 0.3ppm for formaldehyde as established by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. As a result it was imperative to control the hazard both to protect the staff and students and to be in compliance with health and safety regulations. Based on the exposure assessment results and recommendations, the employer, the EHS department, and the staff agreed to look for and implement solutions to lower the exposure to formaldehyde. This joint effort and commitment showed a dramatic improvement in reducing formaldehyde exposure to staff and students. Survey results, recommendations and follow up monitoring of the implemented solutions will be discussed.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Describe potential health hazards related to formaldehyde exposure in an anatomy laboratory. Discuss occupational health and safety efforts to improve working conditions in the laboratory.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was one of the industrial hygienists conducting the exposure assessment for formaldehyde in the anatomy laboratory.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.