HSE Formaldehyde…. Its Safe Use in Foundries

HSE Formaldehyde…. Its Safe Use in Foundries

This leaflet gives advice on current good practice 

Phenol formaldehyde and urea formaldehyde resins are used extensively in the hot box and warm box processes to produce cores and moulds. The resins are mixed with a catalyst and sand which when heated, hardens to form a mould or core.

The hazards

At normal temperatures these resins do not give off vapour but when they are heated, formaldehyde is evolved which is a potential respiratory sensitiser and has been shown in experiments to cause cancer in animals. It is not however a proven human carcinogen. Formaldehyde can irritate the eyes, skin and respiratory tract and prolonged exposure could cause skin sensitisation and allergic contact dermatitis.

How to reduce risk

When using formaldehyde resins which are heated, local exhaust ventilation may be necessary.

Any worker who is involved in the use, storage or transport of these resins needs to be instructed on the associated dangers and necessary precautions. This may include the proper use of goggles, PVC gloves and aprons, and footwear.

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