Introduction: Formalin is a colorless gas with a pungent odor. Because of its germicidal efficacy it is widely used as a preservative for human cadaver in the anatomy laboratory. Acute exposure to formaldehyde results in irritation and burning of the mucous membranes of the nose, mouth, upper respiratory tract, depression, headache, nausea, coughing, irritation and burns to the skin and eye. Objective: The purpose of this study is to assess the effects of formalin toxicity among preclinical-I medical students in Adigrat University, Northern Ethiopia. Methodology: The study was conducted in anatomy laboratory, Adigrat University, Northern Ethiopia, which is located 894 Km from the capital Addis Ababa. Cross sectional study design was utilized for this study. It was carried out on 96 preclinical-I medical students who were routinely exposed to formalin during cadaver dissection. Result: In this study highest investigation was responded as unpleasant smell which accounts for 84.4% students followed by tingling sensation of the nose that is 78.1%. Effect of formalin on burning /watering of eye 67.7% and tiredness/dizziness 65.6% were also higher. Moreover, the data was showed that the effects of formalin accounts 17.7%, 16.7% and 6.25%, for abdominal pain, vomiting and fainting episodes, respectively. Conclusion: Anatomists, technicians and medical students who get regularly exposure to formalin at the dissection hall are at risk of formalin toxicity. Exposure to formalin vapour causes eye, nose, throat, and skin problems to the medical students. Therefore, this study reveals that the concerned bodies should take care of the side effects of formalin exposure.
Formalin, Toxicity, Exposure, Preclinical, Dissection hall
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