Formaldehyde is a dangerous chemical which is found in various products and is used in different industries. Colorless and flammable, it is poisonous and can even suffocate the person to death. Scientifically known as methanol and with the chemical formula of CH2O, formaldehyde is obtained from the oxidation of menthol. The chemical is found in numerous products under the name of methanal, methylaldehyde, methylene oxide, phenol formaldehyde, oxymethyline, oxomethane or urea. Glues and adhesives, air fresheners, carpet cleaners, cosmetics, dyes, disinfectants, household antiseptics, hair conditioners, mouth washes, paint, plastics, shampoos and other pharmaceutical products are some products that contain formaldehyde or its forms.
Formaldehyde poisoning is referred to various other names such as formaldehyde exposure, formaldehyde toxicity, formalin toxicity and formalin intoxication. People who are exposed to formaldehyde are more likely to suffer from formaldehyde poisoning. Also people who commonly use the mentioned products can also sustain the symptoms of formaldehyde poisoning. The severity of the signs of formaldehyde poisoning depends on the amount of formaldehyde inhaled or ingested by a person. Proper identification of formaldehyde poisoning symptoms should be done to treat it at the earliest. Since formaldehyde gas can result in death, it is better to follow precautionary measures while using the gas. Read through the following lines to know the different signs and symptoms of formaldehyde poisoning and how to treat it.
Signs Of Formaldehyde Poisoning
- Inhalation of formaldehyde can cause irritation in nose, eyes and throat, headache and skin injuries.
- When swallowed through mouth, formaldehyde can lead to burning sensations in stomach and esophagus.
- A person can experience respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia when exposed to formaldehyde gas for longer periods.
- A person already suffering from asthma is likely to have frequent and severe attacks.
- Since formaldehyde is a carcinogen, regular exposure or inhalation of formaldehyde gas can increase the risk of developing lung and brain cancer.
- As children have a weakened immune system, they can develop complications when exposed to formaldehyde.
- Other common symptoms include tightness in chest, nausea, skin, rash, wheezing, and so on.
- In severe cases, formaldehyde can result in coma or even death when ingested.
Treatment Of Formaldehyde Poisoning
Before starting with the treatment of formaldehyde poisoning, it is essential to diagnose the exact cause of the poisoning. After knowing the root cause of formaldehyde poisoning, it will be easier to get rid of it and thus, prevent it from occurring again. Doctors normally perform a patch test to determine the presence of formaldehyde in a patient’s body. Medications and drugs are prescribed for treating formaldehyde poisoning. To keep away from formaldehyde poisoning, one must carefully use household products as most of them contain formaldehyde or any of its forms. Also, they should be especially kept away from children’s reach. People working in chemical industries should wear safety masks and use other safety measures to prevent intoxication due to contact with formaldehyde.