Formaldehyde Assessment – Protecting Workers from a Common Industrial Pollutant

Insight IH Consulting has years of experience in formaldehyde assessment. Formaldehyde is found in a surprising number of products. As such, employers should ensure worker safety by routinely reviewing and assessing the products they have on site. Further, OSHA has a developed standard with sets numerous requirements for employers with formaldehyde concentrations which exceed set limits.


Formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling gas often found in aqueous solutions. Commonly used as a preservative in medical laboratories and mortuaries, formaldehyde is also found in many products such as chemicals, particle board, household products, glues, permanent press fabrics, paper product coatings, fiberboard, and plywood. Facilities also use formaldehyde as an industrial fungicide, germicide and disinfectant. Formaldehyde is also a minor component of diesel exhaust. Airborne concentrations of formaldehyde above 0.1 ppm can cause irritation of the respiratory tract. The Inernational Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified formaldehyde as Carcinogenic to Humans (IARC-1).

Additional Information, Links

As formaldehyde is a well-researched chemical, there is a tremendous amount of information available regarding its uses and effects. Below are several helpful links:
1. Applicable OSHA Standard: 1910.1048 – Formaldehyde
2. CDC – Formaldehyde – NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic
3. Partial List of Chemicals Associated with Diesel Exhaust

Assessment Methodology

The OSHA standard has established a permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 0.75 ppm and an Action Level of 0.5 ppm, both calculated as 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) concentrations. Further, the standard sets a short term exposure limit (STEL), which limits employee exposure to airborne concentrations of formaldehyde to 2 ppm over a 15-minute duration. We can utilize both glass tubes and passive aldehyde monitors to quantify worker exposures.

Insight IH Consulting has extensive experience in formaldehyde assessment, and in compliance with the OSHA Standard.

Contact us for assistance with formaldehyde compliance today!