The National Academies Confirm Formaldehyde as a Known Human Carcinogen
The American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH) reminds workers and industry of the need to address exposure risks to formaldehyde.
Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIH) are uniquely qualified to help manage health risks to formaldehyde as well as many other hazardous materials in the workplace.
Earlier this month, the National Research Council, a part of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, issued its assessment of formaldehyde’s ability to cause cancer. In the report, the council upheld the listing of formaldehyde as “known to be a human carcinogen” from the National Toxicology Program’s 12th Report on Carcinogens (RoC). The council reached this conclusion after conducting a peer review of the RoC and an independent assessment of the formaldehyde literature.
Both occupational exposure and non-occupational exposure to the general public has been an area of interest and a topic of discussion within the industrial hygiene profession, government agencies and even the general media in recent years. Formaldehyde is a chemical widely used by industry to produce other chemicals, primarily in the production of resins and as a chemical intermediate. It can also be found in some building materials and products. It is used as a preservative in laboratories, as embalming fluid and as a sterilizer. In addition, formaldehyde is a by-product of combustion and various natural processes.
“The acute and chronic health effects of formaldehyde have been studied for many years,” said Tracy Parsons, CIH, Administrative Program Manager at ABIH. “This latest assessment continues to support the position that employee exposure to formaldehyde needs to be controlled. Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIH) are uniquely qualified to help manage health risks to formaldehyde as well as many other hazardous materials in the workplace. CIHs are trained and experienced in many techniques such as workplace assessments, air sampling, risk analysis, and engineering controls, and are critical to establishing or maintaining a safe and healthy work environment.”
To learn more about the American Board of Industrial Hygiene, Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) program or to locate a CIH to perform industrial hygiene services, please visit www.ABIH.org, email abih@ABIH.org or call (517) 321-2638.
About the American Board of Industrial Hygiene
Since 1960, ABIH, a not-for-profit corporation, has been the world’s largest, premier organization for certifying professionals in the practice of industrial hygiene. ABIH is responsible for ensuring high-quality certification including education, experience, examination, certification maintenance and ethics enforcement. Currently, more than 6700 people are certified to use the CIH designation.
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