Funeral Homes and Mortuaries

Funeral home, mortuary and autopsy personnel face a variety of occupational health hazards. Routine exposure to dangerous chemicals like formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, phosphine gas and organophosphates, as well as aerosolized contaminants, can pose serious short and long-term health risks.

Formaldehyde likely represents the greatest health risk for you and your employees. It is a volatile organic compound, which means that it vaporizes at room temperature, becoming a gas that can be easily inhaled. Exposure to low amounts of formaldehyde gas can cause:

Formaldehyde is classified as a probable human carcinogen by many organizations, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Health Canada. It has been shown to produce cancer in laboratory animals, as well as workers exposed to high amounts of formaldehyde in their jobs. Even if you are only exposed to minute amounts of the gas, it can accumulate over time and pose a major health risk.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the permissible exposure limit for formaldehyde in the workplace is 0.75 parts per million, averaged over an 8-hour work day. The odour threshold for formaldehyde is between 0.1 and 1 ppm. Essentially this means that, if you can smell it, there’s a pretty good chance that the air quality does not meet safety requirements.

In many instances, the health issues associated with excessive levels of formaldehyde have led to complaints from employees of funeral homes and mortuaries, leading to government fines, and even lawsuits.

Workers in funeral homes and mortuaries can also be exposed to glutaraldehyde. Although not as dangerous as formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde is toxic, and when inhaled, may have health effects such as:

With staff being continually exposed to odours, toxic gases and harmful airborne chemicals, your current ventilation system may not be enough to effectively remove the contaminants. According to the US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine (USACHPPM), “HEPA-filtered air and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation may be used to supplement the recommended ventilation requirements” in mortuaries.

Modern Alchemy Air Purifiers can provide you with high-quality, portable room air purifiers that feature medical grade HEPA filters and extra-deep beds of activated carbon to adsorb heavy concentrations of toxins and carcinogens. Moreover, the activated carbon blend can be specially engineered to provide enhanced adsorption of gases like formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde (as in the AllerAir AirMedic Pro 5 Vocarb). Units can also be supplied with air collector hoods to capture hazardous gases directly at their source, as well as optional germicidal UVC lamps for added protection from airborne bacteria and viruses.

In the funeral home business, maintaining a clean indoor air environment is not only essential to the health and well-being of the people who work there, but can help you to make a positive impression on the families of loved ones and prospective clients. Make cleaner and healthier air one of your top priorities by talking to Modern Alchemy Air Purifiers today.

Phone: 613-894-0331
Toll Free: 1-877-GO-7-PURE (1-877-467-7873)

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