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Using Formaldehyde Gas Detectors In Medical Labs

Using Formaldehyde Gas Detectors In Medical Labs
16/03/2021

Using Formaldehyde Gas Detectors In Medical Labs

Formaldehyde (CH2O) is a fairly simple chemical compound that is naturally produced in low volumes through regular cellular metabolism. It is best known for its profound anti-bacterial characteristics hence its long-standing application as one of the main preservatives used in mortuaries. However, formaldehyde solutions—where the gas is mixed with an aqueous mobile phase—are extremely valuable to a wide range of medical research areas. They are routinely used to deactivate viruses for vaccine manufacturing, for instance.

Permanent formaldehyde gas detectors are common fixtures in medical labs where CH2O detection is crucial for mitigating potentially hazardous occupational exposure levels.

Various fluorometric, spectrophotometric, and other techniques have been developed for the detection of formaldehyde gas in air. However, these fairly large and expensive systems rarely justify the cost of installation primarily given their lack of real-time results. Dedicated formaldehyde gas detectors should provide rapid detection of the gas to guarantee occupational health and safety. Additionally, sensing units should enable straightforward operation so that monitoring the air composition in safe areas is a simply process.

The Risk of Formaldehyde Exposure The relative abundance of water-based formaldehyde solutions in medical labs represents some cause for concern from an occupational health point of view. Although extremely useful as a preservative, formaldehyde is a ruthless toxin that can lead to fatality following exposure regardless of how it is ingested. It is a systemic poison that may be absorbed or inhaled. Solutions can cause severe burns to both skin and eyes while vapours will severely irritate the respiratory tract, possibly leading to suffocation.

Healthcare professionals and medical lab technicians are in a similar high risk of exposure group to that of morticians, given the regularity with which they handle biological specimens that have been preserved using formaldehyde-based solutions.

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