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#1 Posted : 17 May 2001 19:56:00(UTC)
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Posted By gavin leatherbarrow
Is formaldehyde banned in the UK?

In particular is it banned in hair and beauty products?

Any information or useful websites would be of great help!

Thanks.
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#2 Posted : 18 May 2001 08:30:00(UTC)
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#3 Posted : 18 May 2001 10:09:00(UTC)
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Posted By John Webster
Formaldehyde (in solution also known as Formalin), is extensively used as a preservative and disinfectant. In the sort of concentrations used for example in the healthcare setting for preserving organ and tissue samples for analysis, significant control measures are required to limit staff exposure. In agriculture, where hoof infections may be treated with strong solutions, the frequent lack of suitable, particularly respiratory, control measures is worrying.

The recent foot-and-mouth epidemic has seen formaldehyde (as other approved disinfectants have become in short supply) sloshed liberally over wellies and wheels without any thought of a "suitable and sufficient" risk assessment.

The previous message provides information to show just how hazardous to health this substance can be.

However, in cosmetics, the concentrations are extremely low, in the ppm range, and unlikely to cause any problems except possibly to a few sensitive individuals. Some could experience some irritation, particularly if they have already become sensitised by past exposure, eg in healthcare or agriculture.

Hope this helps

John
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