Abstract: Formaldehyde has been widely used in the preservations of cadavers in various medical schools in Nigeria for decades and exposure to exogenous formaldehyde has been associated with a number of biological effects in human. A total of two hundred and fifty health sciences students participated in the study from various medical schools. The respondents answered sets of semi-structured questions on various physical reactions associated with use of cadavers that are preserved by formaldehyde. About 62.4% of the respondents are medical students, 19.6 and 18.0% are anatomical and physiological students, respectively. Formaldehyde was used in all the medical and department of anatomy for preservations of cadavers in all the schools. Most of the respondents have contact with cadavers one to twice per week with 8% of them having contact with the preserved bodies >3 times per week. Eyes irritation and upper respiratory tract symptoms are predominant physical reactions suffered by the respondents (56% eyes irritation and 32%, respectively). We concluded that classical embalming mixtures, used for decades are today impracticable and the search for newer low-formaldehyde substitutes has become an urgent issue to minimize a number of biological effects caused by exposure to exogenous formaldehyde used as preservatives.
Moyosore Salihu Ajao, Oluwasike Oluwakemi Adepoju, Aribidesi Luqman Olayaki, Ayokunle Olawepo, Gbenga Anthony Adefolaju, Sikiru Adekunle Jimoh and Adesola Idowu Abioye, 2011. Physical Reactions of Nigerian Health Sciences Students to Formaldehyde Used as Cadaver Preservatives. Research Journal of Applied Sciences, 6: 20-24.