Identification of process generating formaldehyde in a furniture manufacturer

특정 가구 제조 공장의 포름알데히드 발생 공정 노출 평가

  • Yoo, Kye-Mook (Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute) ;
  • Lee, Mi-Young (Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute)
  • 유계묵 (한국산업안전보건공단 산업안전보건연구원) ;
  • 이미영 (한국산업안전보건공단 산업안전보건연구원)
  • Received : 2014.09.22
  • Accepted : 2014.10.11
  • Published : 2014.10.25


Formaldehyde is defined as carcinogen causing leukaemia, lymphoma or nasopharyngeal carcinoma at high level of exposure. Furniture-manufacturing workers can be exposed to formaldehyde, which implies serious impact on health of the workers. The authors carried out ambient monitoring of formaldehyde in the field, and identified the source of formaldehyde generated during the working process by testing the condition in the laboratory settings. After sampling formaldehyde in the air with 2,4-DNPH (2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine) coated silica gel, we extracted formaldehyde derivative with acetonitrile and analyzed the extract using HPLC with UV detector at 360 nm. Formaldehyde was separated by ACQUITY UPLC BEH $C_{18}$ column at a flow rate of 0.5 mL/min using 45% acetonitrile as mobile phase. The workers were exposed to higher level of formaldehyde than normal air. Formaldehyde up to 0.31 ppm was detected in the process of veneer attachment, which exceeded 0.3 ppm, the ceiling value of ACGIH standard. The laboratory test of measuring formaldehyde generated from the glue and veneer used in the attachment process resulted in more formaldehyde generation as the temperature increased, and more from the veneer. Heating the veneer to $100-150^{\circ}C$ following the real condition of the manufacturing site generated 1.14-2.70 ppm of formaldehyde from the sample, which was 2-5 times higher level than Korean limit of exposure (0.5 ppm). As the workers handling and processing the veneer which was produced by wet process had high possibility to be exposed to formaldehyde, urgent improvement and management of working environment of furniture manufacturer is demanded.


formaldehyde;furniture manufacturer;veneer;ambient monitoring


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