Formaldehyde  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Formaldehyde is a naturally-occurring organic compound with the formula CH2O. It is the simplest aldehyde and is also known by its systematic name methanal. The common name of this substance comes from its similarity and relation to formic acid.

Embalming

Formaldehyde based solutions are used in embalming to disinfect and temporarily preserve human remains pending final disposition. It is the ability of formaldehyde to fix the tissue that produces the tell-tale firmness of flesh in an embalmed body. While other, heavier aldehydes also produce a similar firming action, none approaches the completeness of formaldehyde.

Several European countries restrict the use of formaldehyde, including the import of formaldehyde-treated products and embalming, and the European Union is considering a complete ban on formaldehyde usage (including embalming), subject to a review of List 4B of the Technical Annex to the Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the Evaluation of the Active Substances of Plant Protection Products by the European Commission Services. Countries with a strong tradition of embalming corpses, such as Ireland and other colder weather countries, have raised concerns.

The European Union has decided on the date Semptember 22, 2007 to ban Formaldehyde use throughout Europe, because of its carcinogenic properties.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Formaldehyde" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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