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, formol
a 40 per cent solution of formaldehyde in water, used as a disinfectant, preservative for biological specimens, etc.
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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 ]

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


An aqueous solution of formaldehyde, usually 37% formaldehyde by weight.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.