Ask Doug Schoon why Oregon OSHA confuses Methylene Glycol with Formaldehyde and he’ll reply:

“Oregon OSHA is quoting the “regulations”, but their scientists know the regulations are contrary to the scientific facts and have recently told me this!

In reality, Methylene Glycol and Formaldehyde are very different, both chemically and physically! Methylene Glycol is a liquid; Formaldehyde is a gas. Even so, Oregon OSHA has recently declared that these are “synonyms”, yet these two substances have very different chemical compositions and belong to different chemical families, the Aldehyde vs. Alcohols*.

Also in 1972, both Methylene Glycol and Formaldehyde were assigned different CAS registry numbers indicating the American Chemical Society also believes these are different and unique chemical substances. Chemists with an understanding of organic chemistry will agree, whatever their opinion about these substances, that Methylene Glycol and Formaldehyde are two completely different chemicals.

It is unfortunate that this world-wide misunderstand continues to propagating confusion and mislead medical, environmental and other scientific researchers around the world. Confusion between these two chemicals is wrongly affecting important scientific research and correcting this error is long overdue. Scientific researchers and others should be educated to the facts; Methylene Glycol and Formaldehyde are NOT the same chemical substance.

I have considerable respect for OSHA and very much appreciate the great work they do to improve worker safety. Even so, OSHA should correct the regulations to be consistent with scientific facts. They should consider Methylene Glycol and Formaldehyde as two unique and individual substances, measure them as such and individually report their concentrations using correct chemical names.”

*Glycols belong to the Alcohol family of chemical substances

Oregon OSHA New Release:

OSHA- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (US Federal Department)

CAS- Chemical Abstract Service

EINECS- European Inventory of Existing Commercial Chemical Substance

INCI- International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients dictionary

Aldehyde- organic compound that contains a carbonyl center bonded to a hydrogen.

Glycol- organic compounds that belongs to the alcohol family and contains two alcohol groups.


Doug Schoon is an internationally-recognized scientist, author and educator with over 30 years experience in the cosmetic, beauty and personal care industry. He is a leading industry authority, known for his technical and regulatory work that has helped shape the beauty industry. He is Co-Chair of the Nail Manufacturers Council (NMC), and as Creative Nail Design’s (CND) Chief Scientist, was head of the R&D laboratory, QA, and Field Testing/Evaluation departments for almost 20 years. Schoon has authored several books, video and audio training programs, as well as dozens of magazine articles about salon products, safety, and best practices for salon professionals. Schoon is well known for his captivating presentation style and his unique ability to make complex concepts easy to understand. In 1986, Schoon founded Chemical Awareness Training Service (CATS) – the beauty industry’s first safety training company. This was followed by his book, Nail Structure & Product Chemistry, 1st and 2nd Edition, which has become essential reading for nail salon pros. Schoon is a chief contributor to Milady’s Standard Nail Technology and Standard Cosmetology, as well as several medical reference books such as Baran and Maibach’s Textbook of Cosmetic Dermatology and Cosmetic Dermatology: A Comprehensive Medical and Surgical Text. Schoon serves as an expert witness in legal cases, and doctors, dermatologists and podiatrists often consult Schoon when writing articles, books or scientific papers. He has worked as a scientific researcher, author and lecturer for almost 35 years and holds a Masters Degree in Chemistry from UC-Irvine. He currently resides in Dana Point, CA. Overview Industry Experience President, Schoon Scientific + Regulatory Consulting, LLC (2007- present) Co-Chair, Nail Manufacturer’s Council (NMC) (2003-present) V.P., Science & Technology – CND (Creative Nail Design, Inc.(1987-2007) Executive Director/Founder of Chemical Awareness Training Service (1986-89) World renowned expert; considered a leading scientist in the field Works with state, federal and international regulators to develop beauty industry related standards and regulations. Experienced working with EU and Japanese cosmetic regulatory agencies and many domestic and international trade associations Experienced working with activist groups to address industry issues Over thirty years experience as a researcher, lecturer, author and educator Regularly writes articles and makes contributions to several domestic and international beauty trade magazines Author of science and safety books for beauty professionals, including the industry standard, “Nail Structure & Product Chemistry“, Second Edition, 2005 Contributing author to many educational books used in beauty schools Contributing author to several medical texts used by dermatologists and doctors Bachelors Degree Chemistry, Cal State University- Long Beach, CA (1982) Masters of Science Degree in Chemistry, University of California-Irvine (1984)

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