Select Option
Home
A to Z
Search
Terms & Conditions
Support Information
Purchasing & Other Services
Video User Guides

formaldehyde
** formalin ** methanal ** methyl aldehyde ** methylene oxide ** paraformaldehyde ** Translations

Environmental Fate - Ecotoxicology - Human Health - A to Z Index - Home

GENERAL INFORMATION
for formaldehyde

Description: Used as a disinfectant for soil, equipment, yards etc. Also used as an animal husbandry fungicide. Can also be a pesticide transformation product

Example pests controlled: Most bacteria and fungi

Example applications: Non-cropped areas; Growing media; Equipment; Flower tubers & bulbs

Availability status: Current

Introduction & key dates: 1888

EC Regulation 1107/2009 (repealing 91/414):
Status Not approved
Dossier rapporteur/co-rapporteur -
Date inclusion expires Expired

Approved for use () or known to be used () in the following European countries:

AT

BE

BG

CY

CZ

DE

DK

EE

EL

ES

FI

FR

HR

HU

IE

IT

LT

LU

LV

MT

NL

PL

PT

RO

SE

SI

SK

UK

Also used in: USA

General status:
Pesticide type Fungicide, Bactericide, Metabolite, Other substance
Metabolite Type Soil, Water
Other constituent type Inert solvent
Substance group Unclassified
Minimum active substance purity -
Known relevant impurities -
Substance origin Synthetic
Mode of action Acts by protein denaturation
CAS RN 50-00-0
EC number 200-001-8
CIPAC number 156
US EPA chemical code 043001
Chiral molecule No
Chemical formula CH2O
SMILES C=O
International Chemical Identifier key (InChIKey) WSFSSNUMVMOOMR-UHFFFAOYSA-N
International Chemical Identifier (InChI) InChI=1S/CH2O/c1-2/h1H2
Structure diagram/image available? Yes
Molecular mass (g mol-1) 30.03
PIN (Preferred Identification Name) -
IUPAC name formaldehyde
CAS name formaldehyde
Other status information Listed on USA Toxic Release Inventory; Registered as a UK Commodity Substance
Herbicide Resistance Classification (HRAC) Not applicable
Herbicide Resistance Classification (WSSA) Not applicable
Insecticide Resistance Classification (IRAC) Not applicable
Fungicide Resistance Classification (FRAC) Not applicable
Examples of recorded resistance -
Physical state Gas
Related substances & organisms -

Can be a metabolite of:
Parent Formation medium Estimated maximum occurrence fraction 91/414 relevancy
daminozide Soil   0.210   Major fraction, Not relevant
bronopol Soil     Not relevant
trioxymethylene Acid media     Major fraction; Relevant
dazomet Soil   0.205   Major fraction, Relevant

Formulations:
Property Value
Example manufacturers & suppliers of products using this active now or historically -
Example products using this active
  • Formalin Fungicide
UK LERAP status None
Formulation and application details Often used as a dip, drench or spray treatment. May also be used as a fumigant to sterilise animal houses.


ENVIRONMENTAL FATE

for formaldehyde

Property Value Source/Quality Score/Other Information Interpretation
Solubility - In water at 20oC (mg l-1) 550000 C4 High
Solubility - In organic solvents at 20oC (mg l-1) Miscible C4 - Acetone -
Melting point (oC) -117 P3 -
Boiling point (oC) -20 V3 -
Degradation point (oC) - - -
Flashpoint (oC) 50 V3 -
Octanol-water partition coefficient at pH 7, 20oC P 2.24 X 1000 Calculated -
Log P 0.35 V3 Low
Bulk density (g ml-1)/Specific gravity 0.82 L3 -
Dissociation constant (pKa) at 25oC 13.27 V3 -
Note: Strong base
Vapour pressure at 25oC (mPa) 53300000 C4 Volatile
Henry's law constant at 25oC (Pa m3 mol-1) 3.41 X 10-02 V3 Non-volatile
Henry's law constant at 20oC (dimensionless) 1.19 X 10-03 Calculated Volatile
GUS leaching potential index 0.68 Calculated Low leachability
SCI-GROW groundwater index (μg l-1) for a 1 kg ha-1 or 1 l ha-1 application rate Value 1.64 X 10-03 Calculated -
Note -
Potential for particle bound transport index - Calculated Low
Maximum UV-vis absorption L mol-1 cm-1 - - -
Surface tension (mN m-1) - - -

Degradation:
Property Value Source/Quality Score/Other Information Interpretation
Soil degradation (days) (aerobic) DT50 (typical) 6 Q2 Non-persistent
DT50 (lab at 20oC) 1.9 A5 Non-persistent
DT50 (field) - - -
DT90 (lab at 20oC) - - -
DT90 (field) - - -
Note Other sources: DT50 2-20 days
Foliar DT50 (days) Value - - -
Note -
Aqueous photolysis DT50 (days) at pH 7 Value - - -
Note -
Aqueous hydrolysis DT50 (days) at 20oC and pH 7 Value Stable P2 Very persistent
Note -
Water-sediment DT50 (days) - - -
Water phase only DT50 (days) - - -

Soil adsorption and mobility:
Property Value Source/Quality Score/Other Information Interpretation
Linear Kd - A3 Mobile
Koc 37
Notes and range Other sources: DT50 2-20 days
Freundlich Kf - - -
Kfoc -
1/n -
Notes and range -
pH sensitivity -


ECOTOXICOLOGY

for formaldehyde

Property Value Source/Quality Score/Other Information Interpretation
Bio-concentration factor BCF (l kg-1) 0.2 Q2 Low potential
CT50 (days) Not available -
Bioaccumulation potential - Calculated Low
Mammals - Acute oral LD50 (mg kg-1) > 550 L3 Rat Moderate
Mammals - Short term dietary NOEL (mg kg-1) - Q2 Unknown species -
(ppm diet) 50 -
Birds - Acute LD50 (mg kg-1) > 5000 F4 Anas platyrhynchos Low
Birds - Short term dietary (LC50/LD50) - - -
Fish - Acute 96 hour LC50 (mg l-1) > 1.84 A5 Oncorhynchus mykiss Moderate
Fish - Chronic 21 day NOEC (mg l-1) - - -
Aquatic invertebrates - Acute 48 hour EC50 (mg l-1) > 0.43 A5 Daphnia magna Moderate
Aquatic invertebrates - Chronic 21 day NOEC (mg l-1) - - -
Aquatic crustaceans - Acute 96 hour LC50 (mg l-1) - - -
Sediment dwelling organisms - Acute 96 hour LC50 (mg l-1) - - -
Sediment dwelling organisms - Chronic 28 day NOEC, static, water (mg l-1) - - -
Sediment dwelling organisms - Chronic 28 day NOEC, sediment (mg kg-1) - - -
Aquatic plants - Acute 7 day EC50, biomass (mg l-1) - - -
Non-target plants - - -
- - -
Algae - Acute 72 hour EC50, growth (mg l-1) > 0.88 A4 Unknown species Moderate
Algae - Chronic 96 hour NOEC, growth (mg l-1) - - -
Honeybees Contact acute 48 hour LD50 (μg bee-1) - - -
Oral acute 48 hour LD50 (μg bee-1) - - -
Unknown mode acute 48 hour LD50 (μg bee-1) - - -
Earthworms - Acute 14 day LC50 (mg kg-1) - - -
Earthworms - Chronic 14 day NOEC, reproduction (mg kg-1) - - -
Other soil macro-organisms - e.g. Collembola LR50 / EC50 / NOEC / % Effect - - -
Other arthropod (1) LR50 g ha-1 - - -
% Effect - - -
Other arthropod (2) LR50 g ha-1 - - -
% Effect - - -
Soil micro-organisms - - -
Mesocosm study data NOEAEC mg l-1 - - -
NOEAEC mg l-1 - - -


HUMAN HEALTH AND PROTECTION

for formaldehyde

General:
Property Value Source/Quality Score/Other Information Interpretation
Threshold of Toxicological Concern (Cramer Class) Low (class I) - -
Mammals - Acute oral LD50 (mg kg-1) > 550 L3 Rat Moderate
Mammals - Dermal LD50 (mg kg-1 body weight) 270 L3 Rabbit (formulation) -
Mammals - Inhalation LC50 (mg l-1) 0.414 L3 Mouse -
Other Mammal toxicity endpoints - -
ADI - Acceptable Daily Intake (mg kg-1bw day-1) - - -
ARfD - Acute Reference Dose (mg kg-1bw day-1) - - -
AOEL - Acceptable Operator Exposure Level - Systemic (mg kg-1bw day-1) - - -
Dermal penetration studies (%) - - -
Dangerous Substances Directive 76/464 - - -
Exposure Limits [TWA 8hr: 2ppm], [STEL: 2ppm] - -
Exposure Routes Public Most probable exposure route is via inhalation
Occupational Most probable exposure route is via inhalation - PPE/PPC essential
European MRLs Click here for the EU MRL pesticide database
Drinking Water MAC (μg l-1) - - -

Health issues:
Carcinogen Mutagen Endocrine disrupter Reproduction / development effects Cholinesterase inhibitor Neurotoxicant Respiratory tract irritant Skin irritant Eye irritant

-

-

General human health issues IARC group 1 carcinogen
Severe obstructive tracheobronchitis may result from inhalation causing throat spasms and a build up of fluid in the lungs, leading to death
Skin sensitiser

: Yes, known to cause a problem
: No, known not to cause a problem
: Possibly, status not identified
- : No data

Handling issues:
Property Value Source/Quality Score/Other Information Interpretation
General Flammable gas
Reacts explosively with peroxides and performic acid
IMDG Tranport class 3
CLP classification 2013 Health: H301, H311, H314, H317, H331, H341, H350
EC Risk Classification Carcinogen category 3: R40
T - Toxic: R23/24/25
Xn - Harmful: R43
H - Handling risks: R34
EC Safety Classification S1/2, S26, S36/37/39, S45, S51
WHO Classification FM - Fumigant, not classified
US EPA Classification (formulation) - -
UN Number 1198
Waste disposal & packaging Packaging group III (minor danger)


TRANSLATIONS

for formaldehyde

Language Name
English formaldehyde
French formaldehyde
German Formaldehyd
Danish formaldehyd
Italian formaldeide
Spanish formaldehído
Greek -
Slovenian formaldehid
Polish formaldehyd
Swedish -
Hungarian -
Dutch formaldehyde

Record last updated: Monday 04 January 2016
Contact: aeru@herts.ac.uk