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Korean J Occup Environ Med. 2006 Sep;18(3):171-178. Korean. Original Article. https://doi.org/10.35371/kjoem.2006.18.3.171
Park SY , Kim CY , Kim JY , Sakong J .
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Yeungnam University Hospital, Korea. jsakong@med.yu.ac.kr
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, College of Medicine, Yeungnam University, Korea.
Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, Yeungnam University, Korea.
Abstract

OBJECTIVES: This study evaluated the acute health effect of formaldehyde during an anatomy dissection course. METHODS: The formaldehyde concentrations in a gross anatomy laboratory were measured and analyzed during an anatomy dissection course attended by eighty medical students. The Pulmonary Function Test and three tests of the Korean Computerized Neurobehavioral Test (digit classification, digit addition and symbol digit) were given to thirty of the eighty medical students at the pre- and post-exposure. A questionnaire survey was administered to the eighty medical students at the pre- and post-exposure. RESULTS: The differences in the mean FVC and FEV(1) were statistically significant (p<0.01) at the preand post-exposure. In the low exposed group (<2 ppm), only the decreases in FEV(1) on post-exposure were statistically significant (p<0.05) compared with FEV(1) on pre-exposure. In the high exposed group (> or = 2 ppm), decreases in both FVC and FEV(1) on post-exposure were statistically significant (p<0.05). The overall performance on the digit classification, digit addition and symbol digit of the Korean Computerized Neurobehavioral Test on post-exposure was lower than that on pre-exposure. In the low exposed group, the performances on the digit classification and symbol digit were lower than those on pre-exposure. In the high exposed group, the performances on digit classification, digit addition and symbol digit were lower than those on pre-exposure. Complaints involving the eyes, nose and throat increased substantially on post-practice compared with pre-practice in both groups. There were statistically significant differences in the complaints involving the eyes, nose and throat between the pre-practice and post-practice in both groups (p<0.05). There were more complaints in the high exposed group than in the low exposed group. CONCLUSIONS: Formaldehyde exposure during a dissection can decrease the pulmonary function and neurobehavioral performance, and can increase the complaints involving the eyes, nose and throat. The effect on the symptoms, pulmonary function and neurobehavioral performance is positively correlated with the formaldehyde level.

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