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The control of formaldehyde vapour in the human anatomy laboratory of a traditionally disadvantaged South African medical school

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Formaldehyde vapour monitoring was conducted over the period July 1993 to September 1995 in the Human Anatomy Laboratory of the Faculty of Medicine; University of Natal. During the initial study, ambient levels of formaldehyde vapour exceeded the American (ACGIH) threshold limit value (TLV). An intervention in the form of ventilation controls was implemented and proved to be effective in reducing formaldehyde vapour levels. Whether that reduction is sufficient to prevent long-term health effects such as neoplasms and sensitisation remains to be established. The use of alternative methods of environmental control of exposures to formaldehyde are discussed and recommendations are made to reduce the exposure of workers in such situations.
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Keywords: ANATOMY LABORATORIES; CADAVER; FORMALDEHYDE; MEDICAL SCHOOL; VENTILATION CONTROL

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 1998

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