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: http://www.orosha.org/admin/newsrelease/2010/nr2010_25.pdf
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.