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Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) OSHA FORMALDEHYDE STANDARD 29 CFR 1910.1048 FOR TULANE LABORATORY OR FACILITY EMPLOYEES.

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Presentation on theme: "Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) OSHA FORMALDEHYDE STANDARD 29 CFR 1910.1048 FOR TULANE LABORATORY OR FACILITY EMPLOYEES."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) OSHA FORMALDEHYDE STANDARD 29 CFR FOR TULANE LABORATORY OR FACILITY EMPLOYEES WHO WORK WITH OR AROUND FORMALDEHYDE May 2012

2 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) OBJECTIVES To become familiar with the requirements of the OSHA Formaldehyde Standard and Tulane’s written policies concerning formaldehyde To become familiar with sources of information concerning formaldehyde and how to protect oneself from exposure To become familiar with emergency procedures involving formaldehyde

3 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) WHAT IS FORMALDEHYDE? Formaldehyde is a colorless gas with a pungent odor. Formalin describes aqueous solutions, particularly those containing 37% to 50% formaldehyde and 6% to 15% alcohol stabilizer. The OSHA Formaldehyde Standard (see =STANDARDS&p_id=10075 ) protects workers exposed to formaldehyde gas, its solutions, and materials that release formaldehyde. =STANDARDS&p_id=10075

4 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) FORMALDEHYDE USES Formaldehyde can be found in both laboratory and non-laboratory settings. Preserving and fixing tissues Biocide Fertilizer Plywood and particle board Embalming fluid Textiles Disinfectant

5 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) FORMALDEHYDE USES Formaldehyde can be found in both lab and non-laboratory settings. Exposure to new furniture or carpets, wood processing or sawing, and working with fertilizers in a garden can expose workers to levels of formaldehyde. Become aware of products that you use that may contain formaldehyde and know how to protect yourself from the hazards.

6 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) INFORMATION A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) on formaldehyde must be available in the area where formaldehyde is present. It contains information on how to protect yourself from the hazards and what steps to take in an emergency. MSDSs may be found on the OEHS website at heets.cfm. heets.cfm Information on formaldehyde can also be found from other sources such as a chemical dictionary, the Merck Index, Chemical Abstracts, etc.

7 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) INFORMATION A Supervisor’s Guide to the OSHA Formaldehyde Standard can be found on the OEHS website at

8 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Symptoms of Exposure to Formaldehyde Formaldehyde is an irritant and may cause allergic symptoms at very low levels. Symptoms of formaldehyde exposure can be acute, especially eye, nose, and throat irritation. These health effects will occur in most individuals when formaldehyde levels reach 0.1 parts per million (ppm). Usually, removing an individual from the exposure will allow for recovery of these symptoms without any persistent effects.

9 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Symptoms of Exposure to Formaldehyde Short term exposure can be fatal, however the odor threshold is low enough that irritation of the eyes and mucous membranes will occur before fatal levels can be achieved.

10 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Symptoms of Exposure to Formaldehyde - Acute Eye, nose, throat irritation Insomnia Headaches, Dizziness Depression, Memory loss Fatigue Nausea, Diarrhea Chest Pain Rashes Asthma

11 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Symptoms of Exposure to Formaldehyde - Chronic Formaldehyde symptoms may also be chronic. A person can be exposed to formaldehyde day in and day out for many years before being diagnosed with cancer. The effects of exposure differ with different individuals.

12 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Symptoms of Exposure to Formaldehyde - Chronic Respiratory difficulty Eczema Sensitization Human Carcinogen (lung, nasal, possibly brain cancer and leukemia) Altering of genetic material

13 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) PERMISSIBLE EXPOSURE LEVELS (PELs) These are the levels OSHA has set to ensure worker safety: Time Weighted Average (TWA) – 0.75 ppm for an 8 hour work period Short Term Exposure Level (STEL) – 2 ppm over any 15 minute period Action Level – 0.5 ppm over an 8 hour work period

14 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) PERMISSIBLE EXPOSURE LEVELS (PELs) In the event of an emergency where the PELs may be exceeded, the area should be evacuated and OEHS contacted immediately so that monitoring and procedures to reduce exposure can be implemented

15 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Similarities of OSHA Formaldehyde Standard, Laboratory Standard, and Hazard Communication Standard These three OSHA standards have elements in common: Written plan Designated Areas Labeling Control Measures MSDSs, Information Training Monitoring Medical Surveillance Recordkeeping PELs Emergency Procedures

16 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) OSHA Formaldehyde Standard, Laboratory Standard, and Hazard Communication Standard The OSHA Formaldehyde Standard supercedes the Lab Standard and the Hazard Communication Standard when using formaldehyde See OEHS PowerPoint presentations on the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard and the OSHA Lab Standard/Chemical Safety for additional information

17 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) WRITTEN PLAN Tulane’s written Formaldehyde Policy can be found in Section28 of the OEHS Policies and Procedures Manual at the following link:

18 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) DESIGNATED AREAS Formaldehyde is a carcinogen and must be used in a designated area All entrances to designated areas must be posted with the following: DANGER FORMALDEHYDE IRRITANT and POTENTIAL CANCER HAZARD AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY

19 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) DESIGNATED AREAS Only persons trained in the hazards of formaldehyde who are familiar with how to protect themselves shall be allowed access to the designated areas All contract labor must be informed about access restrictions and the hazards present

20 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) LABELING The OSHA Formaldehyde Standard has specific labeling requirements: Products releasing ppm must state “ CONTAINS FORMALDEHYDE ” Products releasing >0.5 ppm must state “ POTENTIAL CANCER HAZARD ” and must contain information on respiratory sensitization Contaminated laundry must state “ DANGER, FORMALDEHYDE CONTAMINATED CLOTHING, AVOID INHALATION AND SKIN CONTACT ”

21 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) LABELING If possible, contaminated clothing should be placed into a fume hood to air out before being sent to be laundered Never bring contaminated laundry home for laundering Laboratory door labels as well as labels for clothing contaminated with formaldehyde are available from OEHS

22 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Protecting Yourself From Formaldehyde Exposure There are three main ways to protect yourself from exposure to formaldehyde: Engineering controls Safe work practices Personal protective equipment (PPE)

23 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Engineering Controls for Use with Formaldehyde Fume hoods Local exhaust ventilation Slot ventilation Emergency Shower if greater than or equal to 1% Formaldehyde Emergency Eyewash if greater than or equal to 0.1% Formaldehyde

24 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Safe Work Practices for Using Formaldehyde Schedule activities to minimize exposure Rotate employees so no employee is exposed for long periods of time Leave the work area after tasks are completed to allow formaldehyde to be exhausted from that area Avoid close contact (especially in breathing zone)

25 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Personal Protective Equipment For Use With Formaldehyde Gloves Goggles Protective Clothing Face shields Respirators

26 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Personal Protective Equipment For Use With Formaldehyde PPE should be selected based on the form of formaldehyde, the conditions of use, and the degree of hazard. Clothing and gloves used should be impervious to formaldehyde. Goggles and face shields should be used for solutions containing 1% or more of formaldehyde.

27 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Respirator Protection for Formaldehyde Required during the interval necessary to install or implement feasible engineering and work practice controls Required where engineering and work practice controls are not feasible Required where feasible engineering and work practice controls are not yet sufficient to reduce exposures below PELs Required in emergencies

28 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Respirator Protection for Formaldehyde Fit testing, training, and a medical evaluation are required in order to wear a respirator for formaldehyde Depending on exposure, OSHA is very specific concerning the type of respirator to use and how often cartridges or canisters must be replaced Contact OEHS for more details

29 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) TRAINING Initial training must be provided upon assignment to a job with potential for formaldehyde exposure Annual training is required if exposure is greater than or equal to 0.1 ppm Training is also required whenever new conditions or hazards are introduced

30 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) TRAINING All training must be documented and the documentation form submitted to OEHS. A training form is available at The online quiz for this Powerpoint training presentation goes directly to OEHS and will serve as your training documentation for the OSHA Formaldehyde Standard. Remember that annual training is required on this topic.

31 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) TRAINING TOPICS These are the topics OSHA requires for training on formaldehyde: Contents of OSHA Formaldehyde Standard, Tulane’s Plan, and the MSDS Medical Surveillance Program, signs and symptoms of exposure, reporting injuries, and follow-up procedures Control measures (work practices, engineering controls, PPE) Emergency procedures, spills

32 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) EXPOSURE MONITORING If you use formaldehyde and feel monitoring may be needed, contact OEHS Monitoring will depend on whether signs or symptoms are experienced, if procedures can cause spills or splashes, the ventilation available, the quantity and concentration of formaldehyde used, the length of time exposed, etc. Contact OEHS & complete a survey anytime there is a change in production, equipment, process, personnel, or control measures related to formaldehyde exposure

33 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) EXPOSURE MONITORING The survey form is evaluated by OEHS staff to determine if exposure monitoring may be needed If there is little chance of exposure at or above the PELs under foreseeable conditions, monitoring is not required Periodic monitoring will be conducted in accordance with the standard if monitoring results are at or above the PELs If monitoring results are above the PELs, a plan must be implemented to reduce exposures

34 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) MEDICAL SURVEILLANCE Should be implemented under the following conditions: Exposure above PELs Signs or symptoms experienced In an emergency To wear a respirator (annual evaluation)

35 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) MEDICAL SURVEILLANCE If medical surveillance is needed due to formaldehyde exposure, please fill out a First Report of Injury or Illness Form (available on the OEHS website, contact the OEHS Worker’s Compensation Specialist at (504) , and report to a medical care provider. Contact OEHS for additional information and assistance in complying with OSHA requirements.

36 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) MEDICAL SURVEILLANCE The OSHA Formaldehyde Standard is very specific regarding medical surveillance requirements. Contact OEHS for more details if needed. Medical Disease Questionnaire Medical Exam Info to the Physician Written Opinion of Physician Medical Removal or Reassignment

37 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) RECORDKEEPING These are the recordkeeping requirements of the OSHA Formaldehyde Standard: Exposure Records – keep 30 years Medical Records – keep for employment + 30 years Fit Testing Records – keep at least annually if respirator required Training Records – keep annually

38 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) EMERGENCY PROCEDURES In the event of an emergency where PELS may be exceeded: Evacuate the area Contact OEHS immediately so monitoring and procedures to reduce exposure may be implemented

39 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) SUMMARY The OSHA Formaldehyde Standard and Tulane’s Policy on Formaldehyde have specific components in place to protect employees from health hazards associated with exposure to formaldehyde Formaldehyde is an irritant and potential human carcinogen, yet it has many favorable uses OSHA has set permissible exposure limits (PELS) for formaldehyde to ensure worker safety

40 Tulane University - Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) SUMMARY In the event that overexposure to formaldehyde is suspected, evacuate the area and contact OEHS immediately Annual training is required when working with formaldehyde

41 Tulane University Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) Pam Fatland Manager, Chemical Safety (504) If unable to proceed to quiz, type the link below into your browser https://audubon.tulane.edu/ehs/enterssn.cfm?testnum=120 Proceed to Quiz


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