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Formaldehyde


Roxhed1

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As you know, I've been looking for information on toilet chemicals. Came across a website

 

www. meridianeng. com/formalde. html

 

I have copied some interesting things written about formaldehyde.

 

HEALTH EFFECTS DATA7,8

Reported short-term effects of inhalation of formaldehyde gas include bronchitis, pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs), inflammation of the lungs and respiratory tract, pneumonia, and respiratory failure resulting in death. Lower concentrations (2 - 3 ppm) can cause tingling of the nose and back of the throat, but tolerance to higher concentrations can occur in some individuals. Most people can tolerate 4 - 5 ppm for up to 30 minutes, but after that time period discomfort increases. Breathing becomes difficult at 10 - 20 ppm. Serious injury is likely to occur with brief exposures to 50 - 100 ppm, which could cause edema (fluid build-up) in the lungs, inflammation of the lungs, and death. Pulmonary edema can develop several hours after exposure to these high concentrations. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has established a tentative IDLH (Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health) value of 30 ppm. This means that exposure to that concentration for thirty minutes or more could result in permanent injury or death. 9

 

Skin contact with formaldehyde solution can cause irritation, and drying and reddening of the skin. Long-term contact can cause sensitization of the skin, resulting in a rash or eczema. Subsequent exposure to low concentrations may cause a recurrence of the rash. Formaldehyde is not absorbed through the skin.

 

Eye irritation may occur at formaldehyde concentrations of about 0. 2 ppm, and tears will form at about 4 - 5 ppm. Massive and intolerable tear formation occurs at concentrations higher than about 10 ppm in most people. Contact of the eyes with concentrated formaldehyde solutions can cause severe eye irritation and injury and possible blindness.

 

Ingestion (swallowing) of formaldehyde is unlikely, but if it occurred it would result in irritation and severe pain in the mouth, throat, and digestive tract. Later dizziness, coma, and lowered body temperatures can occur. The methyl alcohol contained in formaldehyde solution could also contribute to damage to the optic nerve and possible blindness.

Long-term exposure to elevated concentrations of formaldehyde gas may cause respiratory irritation, obstruction of the airways, and impaired lung function. Formaldehyde does not accumulate in the body, since it is readily metabolized to formic acid, and then to carbon dioxide and water.

 

Laboratory tests have shown that formaldehyde can cause nasal cancers in rats exposed to a concentration of 14. 3 ppm of formaldehyde for 24 months. Mice exposed to the same concentration of formaldehyde did not develop a statistically significant increase in cancers. In humans, numerous epidemiological (causes of death) studies have been done on various groups of workers exposed to formaldehyde. These have included morticians, garment workers, wood workers, foundry workers, painters, and barbers, among others. To date, there do not appear to have been any statistically significant increases in cancers at any site in humans. Many of these studies have suffered from lack of exposure and smoking history data. Due to cancers found in animal studies, and the limited and controversial human epidemiological studies, both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) consider formaldehyde to be a possible human carcinogen, and regulate it accordingly.

 

IMPLICATIONS

Formaldehyde is a very toxic material, and must be handled carefully to avoid serious injury. Although it is classified by OSHA and EPA as a possible carcinogen, studies that have been performed to date have not shown that it has caused cancer in humans.

 

Just thought people using Formaldehyde-based toilet chemicals should be aware and be careful.

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I only used it on people that were already dead - so probably didn't do them any more harm :wub:

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The obvious solution is to use a "green" alternative to those additives that use formaldehyde. Aqua Kem Green for instance.

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I was once at an incident where formaldyhide was leaking and you wouldn't believe the precautions we needed to take( Fire Service), the stuff is not to be toyed with,

 

Ian

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We regularly use Formaldehyde where I work as a biocide (kill bacteria) in our latex. As Ian says when the operators add it they have full chemical suits and respirator masks, it is not to be toyed with. The other problem it causes is that because it is a biocide, it kills off all the good bacteria which break down our sewerage in water treatment plants, and causes no end of problems for the water companies. Somewhat ironic then that we add it to the waste tanks of our thetfords. In fact if we didn't add any at all, our waste products would break down perfectly happily by themselves (if a little smelly). By the way look out for formaldehydes proper chemical name which is MethanAL, not to be confused with methanOL (an alcohol, but poisonous nontheless)

 

Stay safe, and use aquachem green (formaldehyde free) it tends to be the blue chemicals that have formaldehyde in them.

 

 

Jon

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Thetford AquaKem Green has always been formaldehyde-free.

 

A couple of years ago Thetford changed the formulation for AquaKem Blue and removed the formaldehyde.

 

Fenwicks Top and Tail is also formaldehyde-free.

 

All water companies in the UK recommend the use of formaldehyde-free toilet fluids.

 

Why some caravanners persist in handling a toxic chemical and then dumping it down the sewer is beyond me.

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I checked Thetfords Aqua Kem Blue yesterday at a supplier and it still contains Formaldehyde.

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We prefer using Elsan as it contains formaldehyde and breaks down matter effectively. If you are an idiot and want to sniff the stuff that is your problem. If Elsan remove it from their chemicals we will look for another supplier whose chemicals contain formaldehyde. I don't have a problem with using it as I find Thetfords a waste of money as it does nothing except chnage the colour.

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We prefer using Elsan as it contains formaldehyde and breaks down matter effectively. If you are an idiot and want to sniff the stuff that is your problem. If Elsan remove it from their chemicals we will look for another supplier whose chemicals contain formaldehyde. I don't have a problem with using it as I find Thetfords a waste of money as it does nothing except chnage the colour.

 

Thats up to you, I've never had a problem with the greener alternatives. Just remember formaldehyde is a serious water pollutant and is a known carcinogen and mutagen. I work with the gallons of the stuff being based in a laboratory and I hate it, and know what effects it has on people who have come in contact with it.

 

Jon

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I've been using Elsan Blue, because that was what was on offer when I needed to buy some more toilet chemical. Now the bottle is getting empty, I decided to "go green" this time. Unfortunately, at my local caravan dealer although they had several different types of toilet chemicals, they had none of the "green" alternatives.

 

I'm not greatly worried about the personal hazard of formaldehyde use, I'm careful with it and use as per the instructions. Moreover, when the cassette is full (20 litres) the concentration of formaldehyde must be pretty low - there are probably more health hazards associated with the 19 litres of human waste!!

 

More of a concern is the environmental issue. This time I did buy some more "blue" (Blue Diamond this time) but next time I will make a bigger effort to find a "green" version.

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Can we not go over the top on this one, anything consumed/inhaled/ingested in too larger quantity will kill/cause serious harm i. e, Oxygen/Water.

The worry is that the build up in the environment may cause harm, and can the scientists who say it doesn't, be trusted? My gut feeling is that they can, after all they live here as well,

 

Ian.

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Is there a green substitute for Elsan that works just as well. Thetford seems to be a coloured liquid, nothing more, nothing less.

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While we're doing this discussion, and from my ever-deepening research, it seems that even the 'green' products out there are only 'less-hazardous' than formaldehyde-based products. I. e. they are not completely biological, but rather just a bit more biodegradable.

 

I can't understand why the caravaning industry suppliers aren't making more efforts to produce environmentally-responsible products. Surely they have as much responsibility to produce environmentally safe products, as we are to use only the most environmentally responsible products. :unsure:

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