Highlights of the Formaldehyde Regulation


Exposure Limits set by State Department of Labor & Industries


            8-hour Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL)                  = 0.75 ppm

            15-minute Short Term Exposure Limit (STEL)           = 2.0   ppm

            8 -hour Action Level (AL)                                           = 0.5   ppm


Respiratory protection must be offered to all employees who are exposed above the PEL at work or who are responsible for spill cleanup. All such employees must be enrolled in the University's Respiratory Protection Program.


Exposure Monitoring

Employers must determine by breathing zone air monitoring if employees are over exposed to formaldehyde. If the result of 8 hour monitoring is below AL and the 15 minute monitoring is below the STEL, then no further air monitoring is required. However, if the work procedure changes, then monitoring must be repeated to ensure acceptable exposure levels. Affected employees must be informed of the formaldehyde exposure levels within 15 days of receiving the monitoring results.


Labeling Requirements

Any product capable of releasing formaldehyde vapor of 0.1 to 0.5 ppm must be labeled that it contains formaldehyde, the availability of physical and health hazard information, and the name and address of the responsible party. For products capable of releasing formaldehyde vapor at levels of 0.5 ppm or above, the label must include the physical and health hazards as well as the warnings "respiratory sensitizer" and "potential cancer hazard".


Medical Consultation and Medical Removal

An employee reporting significant eye, nose, throat or dermal irritation or sensitization which might be as a result of occupational exposure to formaldehyde shall be evaluated by the University's Occupational Health Professional. Based on the medical evaluation results, the Occupational Health Professional may recommend further evaluation, workplace exposure restrictions or reassignment.



The Principal Investigator or supervisor must provide initial and annual formaldehyde specific training to employees who are exposed to formaldehyde at or above 0.1 ppm.


Please contact EH&S, 3-7388, for training information, or guidance for air monitoring strategies, equipment and result interpretation.





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