Formaldehyde Detection in Laboratory Applications

Formaldehyde is a highly-reactive, colorless, poisonous gas created by the oxidation of methanol, consistently utilized in laboratory applications. It is the simplest of aldehydes, and is a precursor to many other compounds. This chemical is used as an antiseptic, disinfectant, fixative, and preservative, most often in laboratory settings. 

Formaldehyde is commonly distributed as a 37% solution in water, while formalin is a 10% solution of formaldehyde in water. It can be found in the environment in smoke from fires, automobile exhaust, and cigarette smoke. This hazardous chemical is also a risk for potentially flammable and corrosive environments.

Exposure and Health Risks

Formaldehyde is harmful if swallowed, inhaled, or contacted directly. It can cause irritation to skin, eyes, and respiratory system. Coughing and wheezing are common symptoms as well as headaches and dizziness. Formaldehyde exposure can be lethal at high enough concentrations, but more importantly at long term exposure.

Formaldehyde is a carcinogen and can cause menstrual and sterility disorders in women. Direct contact with the eyes can cause damage ranging from mild discomfort and burning to complete loss of vision. If formaldehyde catches fire, the vapors are irritating, corrosive, and likely toxic.

Formaldehyde Detection

The use of formaldehyde in laboratory applications is endless, requiring the best wired gas detection solutions. While many higher education institutions and business laboratories have fume hoods, the maintenance and risk of not working properly can put many lives at risk. Also, if a leak were to happen in a room, the gas could disperse into nearby areas through poor ventilation and risk even more lives.

Implementing wired formaldehyde-specific detection systems allows peace of mind for workers and companies. Otis Instruments offers a variety of wired gas detection solutions to detect and monitor formaldehyde levels. 

Otis Instruments also offers a variety of WireFree easy-to-use, robust and configurable gas detectors. Made in the USA, our high-quality products are capable of detecting both toxic and non-toxic gases for diverse applications. If you would like more information about formaldehyde gas detection solutions for laboratory settings, other gas detection solutions or have a question for us, contact our team today.