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J Yeungnam Med Sci > Volume 33(2); 2016 > Article
Yeungnam University Journal of Medicine 2016;33(2):85-89.
DOI:    Published online December 31, 2016.
The effect of formaldehyde on neurobehavioral performance of student during cadaver dissection.
Yong Sakong, Hee Yoon Jo, In Gook Lee, Kyeong Soo Lee, Man Joong Jun
1School of Medicine, Yeungnam University, Daegu, Korea.
2Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, College of Medicine, Yeungnam University, Daegu, Korea.
BACKGROUND: Formaldehyde is used to preserve cadaver in medical schools, and students are exposed to formaldehyde during cadaver dissection classes. When humans are exposed to formaldehyde, it induces mucosal inflammation, skin inflammation, and declining of neurobehavioral function including attention and memory executive functions. The purpose of this study is to identify the effects of formaldehyde exposure on student's neurobehavioral performance during cadaver dissection classes. METHODS: The level of formaldehyde was measured in a cadaver dissection class. A total of 16 students were randomly divided into two groups. One group wore respiratory protection masks, while the other group did not. Among many subtests in Korean Computerized Neurobehavioral test, backward digit span was tested on all subjects before and after the class. RESULTS: The length of memorized digit span between the two groups was not significant; however there was a greater decrease in neurobehavioral function after formaldehyde exposure in the non-mask group than the mask group. CONCLUSION: Formaldehyde exposure during cadaver dissection may likely decrease neurobehavioral performance of students. Therefore, proper ventilation system and respiratory protective equipment are necessary to protect medical school students from adverse effects of formaldehyde exposure.
Key Words: Formaldehyde, Neurobehavioral, Dissection
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