8.2.3 Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde (HCHO) is effective against vegetative bacteria, spores and viruses.  Formaldehyde is available in two forms: as a solid polymer, paraformaldehyde, or as a solution of the gas dissolved in water, formalin.  Concentrations of 5-8 percent formalin in water are an effective liquid disinfectant.

Note: Formaldehyde is carcinogenic and its fumes irritate the eyes and mucous membranes.  All storage and use of formaldehyde must be done in a fume hood or well-ventilated area.

Formaldehyde - Alcohol solutions of 8 percent formaldehyde in 70 percent alcohol are considered very good for disinfection purposes because of the effectiveness against vegetative bacteria, spores and viruses.