Even from the course of general chemistry, everyone knows that formaldehyde is a very toxic substance and frequent contact with this compound threatens a person with at least a bad general state of health. If before it was used for tanning leather, making plastics, in medicine and in laboratories, now it can be found everywhere. In an attempt to find the ideal cosmetic products for women, this substance was filled even with a cream for rejuvenation. Such an abundance of formaldehyde in our lives can not but affect human health.
Is it possible to poison formaldehyde, being practically in constant contact with it? Who is most at risk of poisoning and what happens inside a person when dealing with such a connection?
Where formaldehyde is used
Formaldehyde is in a gaseous state, has an unpleasant odor, is soluble in water. It is an aqueous solution (it is called methandiol or formalin) often used in industry and medicine. Harmful formaldehyde is contained even in nail polish. But this is not all areas of application of a gaseous and aqueous solution of formaldehyde.
It is used in cosmetology in the manufacture of creams, mouth rinsers, deodorants and shampoos. Formaldehyde is added as a stabilizer (preservative) and antiseptic. With the latter purpose in trace amounts can be contained in antiseptic solutions and gels for surface treatment, hand skin. Harm to health such formaldehyde will not bring, if its maximum concentration will be no more than 0.2%.
In medicine, they use means for preserving preparations (so that the studied artifacts do not decompose over time) and the manufacture of certain medicines.
In industrial production formaldehyde formulations are used for tanning leather, producing plywood, for experiments in the laboratory.
Who is most affected by such a poison? They are workers of laboratories where they produce cosmetics, workers in furniture factories, medical workers and students of medical schools, often in contact with formalin.
Symptoms of Formaldehyde Poisoning
As already noted, small amounts in the product do not cause harm and are allowed in the production of even cosmetics. The maximum permissible concentrations of formaldehyde in the external environment are 0.5 mg per cubic meter. If there is more gas in the air, there are signs of formaldehyde poisoning. A lethal amount of aqueous solution for human 10-50 g, and a clean gaseous substance 60-90 ml.
This toxic compound affects virtually all organ systems. What does a person feel when he is poisoned?
In small amounts, with constant inhalation of formaldehyde vapors, this affects primarily the nervous system. Symptoms of formaldehyde poisoning are manifested gradually:
The person is worried about the lack of sleep, the surrounding people notice that he falls into depression for no apparent reason. If you hit the respiratory center, you get a feeling of lack of air.
Frequent contact with the skin leads to dermatitis, brittle nails, hair. Perhaps, peeling of the skin of the face, and in people predisposed to skin diseases, in rare cases, eczema develops.
Acute inhalation poisoning with rapid inhalation will cause irritation of the mucous eyes and nasopharynx, bronchial tubes may develop spasm in a lightning speed and the appearance of pulmonary edema is not ruled out.
Symptoms of formalin poisoning (which happens with the occasional use of it inside) are the burning, the appearance of pain in the throat, along the upper parts of the digestive system. Severe pain in the stomach, bloody vomiting. Gradually, the kidneys are involved in the process, after the study there is inflammation and edema of the tissues, the victim is concerned about the absence of urination for a long time.
Not only does the nervous system suffer severe formalin poisoning (persistent headaches, irritation, trembling of hands, impaired vision). The entire body responds to signs of the presence of a poisonous substance:
- nausea and vomiting;
- violation of sweating;
- causeless temperature changes.
Many of these symptoms affect the person for years, and no one thinks about the presence of this compound in the organs.
What is harmful formaldehyde? The danger is not only in chronic or acute poisoning, the drug negatively affects reproductive function, can cause cancerous degeneration of cells and lead to the development of a chronic disease - bronchial asthma.
Treatment with formaldehyde poisoning
The first help with formalin poisoning is to wash the stomach with a copious amount of water. Antidote is a 3% solution of chloride or ammonium carbonate. It must be inserted through the probe, if a person has lost consciousness or give a drink to the victim. These compounds interact with formalin and neutralize it, transferring to non-poisonous urotropine. In case of acute poisoning, one should not keep a person in a stuffy room, provide access to oxygen.
Further treatment of formalin and formaldehyde poisoning is carried out only in the hospital, where you need to immediately deliver the victim. It is important to quickly begin symptomatic treatment:
- Violation of the heart rhythm, the appearance of pain, suppression of respiratory function - is corrected by "Atropine", "Promedol" and artificial ventilation of the lungs.
- In parallel, an abundant drink is prescribed or saline solutions containing urea are added to support the kidneys.
Further treatment is symptomatic depending on the degree of organ damage.
There are no specific symptoms of formaldehyde poisoning. But those who often come into contact with this substance should not forget about the prevention: to ventilate the premises, to use individual means of protection when working with it and simply to undergo annual preventive examinations every year. The consequences of formalin poisoning are not easy bad general health, but also the hardest irreversible processes in many body systems. It is better to be overly attentive to one's health than to overlook something.