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Report on the Consensus Workshop on Formaldehyde.

The Consensus Workshop on Formaldehyde consisted of bringing together scientists from academia, government, industry and public interest groups to address some important toxicological questions concerning the health effects of formaldehyde. The participants in the workshop, the Executive Panel which coordinated the meeting, and the questions posed, all were chosen through a broadly based nomination process in order to achieve as comprehensive a consensus as possible. The subcommittees considered the toxicological problems associated with formaldehyde in the areas of exposure, epidemiology, carcinogenicity/histology/genotoxicity, immunology/sensitization/irritation, structure activity/biochemistry/metabolism, reproduction/teratology, behavior/neurotoxicity/psychology and risk estimation. Some questions considered included the possible human carcinogenicity of formaldehyde, as well as other human health effects, and the interpretation of pathology induced by formaldehyde. These reports, plus introductory material on the procedures used in setting up the Consensus Workshop are presented here. Additionally, there is included a listing of the data base that was made available to the panel chairmen prior to the meeting and was readily accessible to the participants during their deliberations in the meeting. This data base, since it was computerized, was also capable of being searched for important terms. These materials were supplemented by information brought by the panelists. The workshop has defined the consensus concerning a number of major points in formaldehyde toxicology and has identified a number of major deficits in understanding which are important guides to future research.

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