Original Article

Respiratory Effects Induced by Occupational Exposure to Formaldehyde among Health Care staff


Formaldehyde is a common indoor pollutant with irritant properties. The present case control study was undertaken among 37 exposed staff with formaldehyde and 19 non exposed (referent) ones to study the acute and chronic effects of it in two educational hospitals. All subjects were tested for respiratory function by a portable alpha Vitalograph-UK. In addition using a respiratory questionnaire, data on demographic information and respiratory symptoms were collected. The results showed that exposed medical staff had high prevalence rates of regular cough, wheezing and itching and burning sensations of the nose on acute exposure to formaldehyde. These effects were higher on chronic exposure. On the other hand, although the respiratory function parameters such as FVC (Forced Vital Capacity), FEV1 (Volume that has been exhaled at the end of the first second of forced expiration) and PEF (The highest forced expiratory flow measured with a peak flow meter) diminished in some exposed subjects, the respiratory function in two groups of subjects did not indicate any significant differences (p< 0.05). In conclusion the respiratory function test cannot be always exact criteria to demonstrate adverse health effect of formaldehyde exposure.

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IssueVol 5 No 1 (2013) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
Formaldehyde Respiratory function Medical staff Prevalence

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How to Cite
RAHIMIFARD H, HEIDARI H, ABBASINIA M, NORUZI M, MAHDINIA M, ARAST Y. Respiratory Effects Induced by Occupational Exposure to Formaldehyde among Health Care staff. Int J Occup Hyg. 2015;5(1):26-30.