journal

Health Effects and Factors Affecting Formaldehyde Exposure Among Students in a Cadaver Laboratory

Abstract

Formaldehyde is associated with a wide range of adverse health effects and occupational exposure to formaldehyde is very common. The objective of this study was to determine formaldehyde-related health effects and factors that affect student exposure and compliance with safety measures and training during cadaver class. Study participants were university students and the survey predominantly gathered information about formaldehyde-related symptoms, the relevant health status of students, willingness to embrace safety practices, and willingness to get training on formaldehyde exposure in a cadaver laboratory setting. Our results showed that there is a significant relationship between preexisting respiratory conditions and willingness to use respiratory personal protective equipment (PPE) in the laboratory (25.5%, p = .01). Compared with male students, female students were more willing to get training on the use of formaldehyde in the laboratory (p = .008) and were more likely to be willing to use respiratory PPE (p = .018). Our study indicates that students experience symptoms in the laboratory that could be formaldehyde-related, supporting the need to educate students on the adverse health effects of formaldehyde exposure in the laboratory. Finally, gender, preexisting respiratory conditions, and ease of compliance with respiratory protection should be considered when designing preventive programs for formaldehyde exposure.

 

Speaker / Author: 
Alexander C. Ufelle, MBBS, MPH, PhD, Department of Public Health and Social Work, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
Hebist Asfaw, MBA, Department of Public Health and Social Work, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
Amber G. Lee, MPH, Maryland Department of Public Health
Kimberly Forrest, MPH, PhD, Department of Public Health and Social Work, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
Timothy Smith, PhD, School of Physical Therapy, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
Aaron Barchowsky, PhD, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Pittsburgh
Month Year: 
January 2022
Volume#: 
84.6
Page #: 
14-21
Publication Month: 
January/February 2022