Formaldehyde or methanol is a compound of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen whose chemical formula is HCHO or CH2O. Besides being the simplest aldehyde, it is produced by the catalytic oxidation of methanol (methyl alcohol).
At room temperature, formaldehyde is a colorless gas with a pungent odor that is readily soluble in water. Aqueous solutions containing 35 percent formaldehyde are known as Formol or formalin, which is a colorless liquid with a pungent, suffocating odor; such solutions usually contain methanol as a stabilizer.
Some aldehydes are broadly effective against bacteria, fungi, mycobacteria, spores and viruses. Formol or formalin is an approximate 35 to 40% by weight solution of formaldehyde in water, usually with 10 to 15% methanol added to prevent polymerization. Formalin solutions containing formaldehyde concentrations equal to or higher than 5% are a widely used, effective liquid disinfectant.
They are used for the sterilization of heat-sensitive objects, such as cystoscopes, laparoscopes, blood-stained instruments and hemodialysis instruments.
Used in its gaseous form and in closed chambers, formaldehyde is applied to hospital sterilization as well as to the pharmaceutical industry. Likewise, it is widely used as an environmental disinfectant of highly contaminated rooms which must be aired once they have been treated.
Also used in Agricultural applications and water treatmnts….
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