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ISSN : 2456-8643

Title:
RISK ANALYSIS OF FORMALDEHYDE EMISSIONS IN MORTUARIES CASE STUDY OF FIVE MORTUARIES INSIDE A FACULTY OF MEDICINE IN EGYPT

Authors:
Ashraf A. Zahran ,Egypt

Abstract:
Formaldehyde is a volatile organic compound that has serious effects on human health and considered a human carcinogen based on sufficient human and animal inhalation studies. In mortuaries, formaldehyde is commonly used for the preservation of the dead. Formaldehyde was measured during working hours in March 2018 in five mortuaries in Egypt. Formaldehyde recorded 1.69 ± 0.72, 1.80 ± 0.69, 0.94 ± 0.56, 1.08 ± 0.33, and 0.13 ± 0.05ppm in the five mortuaries. These concentrations exceeded air quality limits of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (0.3ppm) in all sites except the 5th mortuary and exceeded air quality limits of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in all sites (0.016. ppm). Hazard Rating Number system is used in this work as a simple tool to assess the risk of exposure to formaldehyde in mortuaries and recorded high levels of risk in most cases. The study indicated that Hazard Rating Number system can be used as a preliminary risk assessment tool that can be calculated by non-specialists to take decisions when high formaldehyde concentration is detected. According to the risk control hierarchy, there are several control options that need further scientific studies such as using virtual reality and augmented reality, decreasing noise of ventilation systems, and substitution of formaldehyde by other preservative solutions to decrease the risk of exposure to formaldehyde in mortuaries. Finally, the study focused on the serious need for risk communication activities to increase awareness of workers and students about formaldehyde health risk

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