Here are some excerpts from the Material Safety Data Sheet:
- Toxic if swallowed. Will cause burns to the mouth, mucous membranes, throat, oesophagus and stomach. If sufficient quantities are ingested (swallowed) death may occur. The methanol stabilizer in solutions is a cause of visual impairment and possible permanent blindness.
- Will cause burns to the eyes with effects including: Pain, tearing, conjunctivitis and if duration of exposure is long enough, blindness will occur.
- Toxic by skin contact. Will cause burns to the skin, with effects including; Redness, blistering, localised pain and dermatitis. The material is capable of causing allergic skin reactions and may cause skin sensitisation. Toxic effects may result from skin absorption..
- Toxic if inhaled. Will cause severe irritation to the nose, throat and respiratory system with effects including: Dizziness, headache, incoordination, chest pains, coughing, respiratory paralysis and or failure. Inhalation can cause cancer. Animal studies have shown formaldehyde to cause carcinogenic effects. In particular, chronic inhalation studies in rats have shown thec development of nasal cavity carcinomas at 6 and 15 ppm.
- Some long term animal test data suggests a carcinogenic potential for the formaldehyde contained in these solutions.
- This material has been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a Group 2A agent. Group 2A - The agent is probably carcinogenic to humans. [IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of the Carcinogenic Risk of Chemicals to Humans. - Supplement 7, World Health Organisation, 1987]. Link to vol 88 about Formaldehyde. See pdf page 46.
- Direct link to CDC PDF. Link has been archived here. No more of this disappearing link BS.
- The CDC page that links to the PDF.
- Formaldehyde MSDS safety sheet.
- IARC studies of formaldehyde and cancer in humans.