Discuss the chemical characteristic, health effects, and exposure limits of formaldehyde, bioaerosols, acrolein, and metals- Essay.
Formaldehyde refers to a strong smelling but colorless and flammable chemical. The chemical is also used as a germicide, fungicide, disinfectant and preservative in mortuaries and medical laboratories. Formaldehyde levels are between 0.002 to 0.006 parts per million in suburban areas levels above this are poisonous. Health effects include throat, nose and eye irritation, dizziness and nausea. Extreme exposure leads to cancer (United States Environmental Protection Agency,n.d.).
Bio-aerosols are biological particles that are airborne and formed by any process that involves biological materials interaction. Sources include wind, air, water, animals, soil, plants and mechanical movement. The National Center for Biotechnology information warns that Bio-aerosols are responsible for health challenges including infectious diseases, allergies, acute toxic effects and cancer (Douwes, 2003).
Acrolein is a yellow, colorless and volatile liquid with a choking odor. Acrolein is less dense than air and dangerously toxic. Acrolein above the exposure limit of 0.003 parts per million and 0.007 milligrams per cubic meter results to fatal health effects. This is the minimum reference level basing it on effects on human respiratory system. Health effects include eye, lung, nose and throat irritation, respiratory congestion, heart damage, difficulty breathing and Asthma.
Metals are solid at room temperature with exception of mercury which is shiny liquid. Metals have a high melting point and density. Metals have a large atomic radius, low ionization are electronegativity. Heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury and Selenium are highly toxic at extreme exposure. Health risks include radiation poisoning, respiratory problems and lung cancer (Jarup, 2003).
Douwes, L. Thorne P, Pearce N, Heederik D. (2003). Bioaerosol health effects and exposure assessment: progress and prospects. National Center for Biotechnology informationJarup, L. (2003). Hazards of heavy metal contamination. National Center for Biotechnology information http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14757716
United States Environmental Protection Agency . Acrolein. Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/ttnatw01/hlthef/acrolein.html
United States Environmental Protection Agency. Formaldehyde. Retrieved from http://www2.epa.gov/formaldehyde