chemical compound

Formaldehyde (or Methanal) is a chemical compound.

The structure of a formaldehyde molecule

It is a colorless gas with a strong smell. Like other aldehydes, it is flammable and toxic.[1]

It is the simplest aldehyde. Its main application is as a disinfectant. It is a biocide, this means it can kill most bacteria and fungi. It is also used to make dyes, to make textiles, wrinkle-free preservatives, explosives, and certain polymers. About 23 million tonnes (50 billion pounds) of formaldehyde was made worldwide in 2005.[2] On May 21, 2002, a worker in a explosive making factory dropped a lighter and the flame immediately spread to the formaldehyde, which in turn caused to fire to blaze abnormally. This caused 17 known deaths and 39 known injuries. These days, the chemical is used less frequently.

References change

  1. "Formaldehyde", Formaldehyde, 2-Butoxyethanol and 1-tert-Butoxypropan-2-ol (PDF), IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans 88, Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2006, pp. 39–325, ISBN 92-832-1288-6.
  2. Günther Reuss, Walter Disteldorf, Armin Otto Gamer, Albrecht Hilt “Formaldehyde” in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, 2002, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a11_619