Reduction of formaldehyde concentrations in the air and cadaveric tissues by ammonium carbonate
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The reduction of formaldehyde by ammonium carbonate was examined in cadavers and in vitro. Formaldehyde concentrations in the air (10 cm above human cadavers) and in various cadaveric tissues were measured with or without perfusion of ammonium carbonate solution into formaldehyde-fixed cadavers. Air samples were monitored using Kitagawa gas detector tubes. For measurement of formaldehyde in tissues, muscles and organs were cut into small pieces and tissue fluids were separated out by centrifugation. These specimen fluids were diluted, supplemented with 3-methyl-2-benzothiazolinone hydrazone hydrochloride and quantified by spectrophotometry. In five cadavers without ammonium carbonate treatment, the formaldehyde concentrations in the air above the thorax and in various tissue fluids were 1.2?3.0 p.p.m. and 0.15?0.53%, respectively. Arterial reperfusion of saturated ammonium carbonate solution (1.0, 1.5 or 2.0 L) into five formaldehyde-fixed cadavers successfully reduced the formaldehyde levels, both in the air (0.5?1.0 p.p.m.) and in various tissue fluids (0.012?0.36%). In vitro experiments demonstrated that formaldehyde concentrations decreased, first rapidly and then gradually, with the addition of ammonium carbonate solution into fluids containing formaldehyde. It was confirmed that formaldehyde reacted with the ammonium carbonate and was thereby changed into harmless hexamethylenetetramine. The application of ammonium carbonate solution via intravascular perfusion and, if necessary, by infusion into the thoracic and peritoneal cavities, injection into muscles and spraying on denuded tissues can be anticipated to reduce formaldehyde to satisfactorily low levels in cadaveric tissues and, consequently, in the air, which may provide safe and odorless dissecting rooms.
Anatomical Science International
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Graduate School of Health Science