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What is formalin and formaldehyde: influence on the human body

Many chemicals are especially toxic to humans. The effect of formaldehyde on the human body can be dangerous and cause intense intoxication of internal organs.

What is formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a chemical compound with a pungent odor, which can dissolve in the liquid and ignited. Formalin is 40% aqueous solution of formaldehyde.

Chemical characteristics of the poison pose a threat to human health and life. If you drink formaldehyde in an amount of from 35 to 90 mg, it is possible to die.

The substance is produced industrially by oxidation of methanol. Formalin refers to the first class of danger, as they are able to influence the cellular level. The poison can penetrate into the internal organs caused by chemical interactions, and also be formed in living organisms from other substances. Methanol is found in many household products.

People regularly exposed to negative vapor, but a single inhalation exposure of formaldehyde, usually does not cause serious consequences.

The smell of formaldehyde is extremely sharp and unpleasant. However, to detect the poison itself is practically impossible: it requires special equipment and reagents.

The smell of formalin can be described as specific. At the moment in the pharmacy networks is realized antiseptic "balusters: stone", which includes formaldehyde. Use the product carefully, avoiding breathing the fumes.

The permissible dose of the contents of the substance is 0.2% in cosmetic products and up to 0.1% in mouthwash. Medicine its content must not exceed 0.5%. The funds that include 5% of this compound can also be used, but is contraindicated for use on the face area.

Maximum allowable concentration in cosmetics, in particular shampoos and foam for bathing, is 0.1%, while only 1 person out of 75 000 documented negative skin reaction.

As follows from the description, formalin is one of the hazardous poisons that can disrupt internal organs and cause death.


The substance is used mainly in medicine and industry. The compound included in the composition of varnishes for nails, tools for hair care. A small dose is included in some cosmetic preparations as a disinfectant and preservatives included in the composition of creams, deodorants, shampoos, mouthwash.

Sources of poisoning by chemical compounds divided into several classes of risk, due to their properties. Formaldehyde is a strong toxin has the ability to explode has a negative impact on the person with internal penetration.

There are many sources of toxicity. These include:

  • gas stove;
  • exhaust gases of vehicles;
  • adhesive;
  • medicines;
  • household chemicals;
  • cosmetics;
  • carpet;
  • the smoke of tobacco and electronic cigarettes;
  • fertilizer and others.

The maximum concentration observed at high humidity and high temperatures.

Properties of formalin is used as disinfection of medical equipment and instruments, sterilization items, treating diaper rash and skin lesions, and also reduce sweating.

The use of formalin exclusively outside: to breathe and drink the solution is very dangerous for life. It is used for local disinfection as deodorizing and binders. In addition, the solution in diluted form is used for irrigation.

Most often the substance is found in the chemical industry, in paint production, paper products, resins, textiles and plastics. Connection has found its application also in the wood industry, in the manufacture of floor coverings, refining of animal skin, as an antiseptic and anti-microbial agents, as well as in the manufacture of yeast.

Effects on humans

The effect of compounds on the human body is extremely unfavorable: it can cause severe poisoning and is equivalent to intoxication with arsenic. Under the influence of vapors, the brain suffers respiratory system, mucous surface. The harm of formaldehyde to humans is a severe toxicity of internal organs. Of the most serious consequences include:

  • swelling the lung system and throat causing difficulty breathing, respiratory failure, which is often the cause of death;
  • inflammation of the kidneys;
  • menstrual and endocrine disorders, leading to the impossibility of conception in women;
  • difficulty urinating, leading to falling into a coma,
  • the withering away of the mucous membranes of the stomach and esophagus;
  • internal bleeding.

Are they harmful to humans formaldehyde? This question can definitely be answered positively.

Regular inhalation in humans may increase sensitivity to poison, which eventually leads to more serious complications.

In addition, poison has a negative effect on the internal organs: liver, kidneys, respiratory and visual systems as well asis a powerful allergen. Formaldehyde has a carcinogenic effect on the fetus, leading to cell mutation destroys nervous tissue and visual channels. Once in the bloodstream, it reacts with the protein in the blood and is synthesized in formic acid, which is heavily derived from the internal organs.

What is the impact of formaldehyde on children? Kids are most sensitive to the world around them, which is why a carcinogen can have a significant impact on their body. With continuous interaction with dangerous objects, even its small concentrations can cause severe complications. The substance may be contained in children's toys, teethers, nipples, stickers, plastic dolls.

The consequences of poisoning

To get into the human body may be a carcinogen in the following ways:

  • inhalation;
  • oral;
  • through direct interaction with the skin.

It is worth noting that the spread throughout the body this connection is uneven. Most intensively it is deposited in the following internal organs:

  • pancreas;
  • mucous surfaces of the intestinal system;
  • lymph;
  • salivary glands;
  • bone marrow.

In case of accidental or intentional ingestion in humans can develop:

  • sudden kidney failure;
  • pathology of the liver characterized by the destruction of her cells;
  • bleeding mucous surfaces of the stomach;
  • necrosis of the esophagus.

Formaldehyde can irritate the respiratory system and lead to these diseases.

  • bronchitis;
  • obstruction of the lungs;
  • the aggravation of bronchial asthma.

When interacting with the skin, the compound can provoke:

  • dermatitis which frequently becomes chronic;
  • hives, rash;
  • destruction of nails;
  • redness and burning;
  • weeping eczema.

Substance capable of destroying the immune system, to provoke a change in the composition of the blood, to reduce the number of lymphocytes and immunoglobulin A, so the threat formalin, should know anyone who wants to protect themselves from the effects of poison.

Symptoms of intoxication

Formaldehyde poisoning can have some features, mainly on the part of the brain and respiratory system. These include:

  • choking;
  • coughing;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • itching and burning of the mucous surfaces of the esophagus and larynx;
  • diarrhea and vomiting with blood streaks;
  • intense thirst;
  • blanching of the skin;
  • mood swings;
  • lack of energy;
  • sleep disturbance;
  • convulsive disorder;
  • disorder coordination;
  • headache;
  • weight loss.

People often come in contact with the poison, symptoms can manifest themselves as allergic reactions, urticaria, brittle nails. The female observed failures of menstruation, men – reduced sexual desire.

High concentrations can lead to toxic shock, coma, and death.

Who is at risk

The most susceptible to carcinogen the following categories of people:

  • people engaged in chemical industry;
  • living near chemical plants;
  • employees of shops for the manufacture of furniture, paper, sewing supplies, nutritional supplements;
  • medical laboratory assistants;
  • the mortuary staff;
  • people whose activity connected with the embalming of corpses and funeral services.

In addition, the connection of formaldehyde and cancer: it is considered a strong carcinogen.

Studies concerning formalin found that employees involved in the embalming of corpses and furniture manufacturing, are more prone to skin cancer, tumours of the respiratory system, tumors in the stomach, lung, prostate, bowel.

People involved in a potentially dangerous trade for over 10 years, are in increased risk for the occurrence of the following malignant diseases:

  • Hodgkin's lymphoma;
  • myeloma;
  • myelogenous leukemia.

It is established that the substance acts directly on the cells, which causes mutation of genes.

First aid and treatment

In cases of poisoning by food that includes formaldehyde, the victim must be transported to the hospital by calling the medical staff. If necessary, if the patient requires immediate assistance will help the emergency measures:

  • remove any remaining poison from the stomach with lavage or call artificial vomiting;
  • the patient must accept the activated coal from calculation 1 tablet on 10 kg of weight, after dissolving it in water. Within 2 hours, it is necessary to empty the stomach;
  • during intoxication it is necessary to ensure a flow of fresh air, opening wide the Windows and doors or take the victim to the street;
  • will help to neutralize the poison inhalation using water and ammonia, which are able to withdraw the surplus connection;
  • when the penetration of the carcinogen to the skin and mucous membranes, the skin should be rinsed with plenty of water and wipe with ammonia;
  • when injected into the organs of vision of the eye fluid drops of the following composition: 8 drops of adrenalin and 2 drops of novocaine, which can neutralizepoison;
  • in case of ingestion of the solution will help the chloride or ammonium carbonate, which do not allow the compound to be absorbed into the circulatory system;
  • if the patient has lost consciousness, it laid on its left side to avoid the penetration of vomit into the respiratory system and suffocation.

The victim is recommended to drink plenty of liquids, and the application of ammonia-aniseed drops. To prevent liver failure or kidney failure, use of glucose-novocaine solution.

Treatment methods formalin intoxication depend on the characteristics of the clinical picture, the mechanism of hit of poison in the internal organs and manifested symptoms.

In some cases there are medications that stabilize the heart and blood vessels, sedatives, respiratory analeptics.

In hospital the victim can carry out the procedure of hemodialysis, in which blood is passed through the membrane, which is an effective measure in the elimination of toxins.

In the vein of the patient is administered isotonic solution of glucose or in conjunction with a diuretic. In addition, professionals need to monitor the work of the Central nervous system and heart. For the prevention of disorders of the liver used vitamins and hepatoprotectors.


Person engaged in harmful production, it is necessary to limit interaction with toxic compounds, systematically undergo a medical examination, to include in the diet of dairy products and milk.

Prolonged exposure to low concentrations of poison use individual protection equipment: respirators, masks, special protective clothing, gloves.

In order to prevent damage to the liver is necessary to periodically take medications, for example, Kars, gepabene, visit medical resorts and sanatoriums.

People who do not have a direct relationship to the harmful production, also affected by poisons, experience health deterioration, often not knowing about it.

To prevent and also to remove the carcinogen from your home, you should resort to the following methods:

  • after purchasing new furniture regularly ventilate the room;
  • during cleaning use rubber or latex gloves to reduce contact with detergents;
  • to maintain optimal humidity and temperature in the home.

In addition, to reduce and neutralize the hazardous fumes will help plants: ficus, chamaedorea, ivy, fern.

The poison is especially dangerous for young children and the elderly. However, to completely limit yourself and loved ones from its effects, as the compound in small amounts can meet almost everywhere. To reduce its negative influence is possible, studying the composition of purchased goods and products. Many manufacturers in the production of household items and food used formalin to extend the shelf life and to make the purchase of marketable.