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(also Formol), an aqueous (usually 37–40 percent) solution of formaldehyde containing 4–12 percent methanol as a stabilizer; a colorless liquid with a characteristic pungent odor. During prolonged storage, especially in the cold, Formalin becomes cloudy as a result of the formation of a white precipitate— paraformaldehyde. It is used as a convenient source of formaldehyde, for example, in the preparation of polyvinyl formal. It is also used as an antiseptic and deodorant, for example, to disinfect dwellings, clothing, utensils, and hands, to preserve anatomical specimens, and for syringing. It is used in the tanning of leather and as a fungicide in the germination of seeds, tubers, and spermous root crops before sowing or planting.
Formalin is a component of formaldehyde paste and formidron, which are administered to persons suffering from hi-drosis, and lizoform, which is used for syringing and for disinfecting hands and dwellings. Formalin has a moderate toxic effect on humans and warm-blooded animals. [27–1609–1 ]