Internationally known Scientist, Doug Schoon, responds to misleading claims by
Oregon OSHA that “Methylene Glycol” is a synonym for “Formaldehyde”.
Ask Doug Schoon why Oregon OSHA confuses Methylene Glycol with Formaldehyde and he’ll reply,
“Oregon OSHA is quoting the “regulations”, but their scientists know the regulations are contrary to
the scientific facts and have recently told me this!
In reality, Methylene Glycol and Formaldehyde are very different, both chemically and physically!
Methylene Glycol is a liquid; Formaldehyde is a gas. Even so, Oregon OSHA has recently declared
that these are “synonyms”, yet these two substances have very different chemical compositions and
belong to different chemical families, the Aldehyde vs. Alcohols*.
Also in 1972, both Methylene Glycol and Formaldehyde were assigned different CAS registry
numbers indicating the American Chemical Society also believes these are different and unique
chemical substances. Chemists with an understanding of organic chemistry will agree, whatever
their opinion about these substances, that Methylene Glycol and Formaldehyde are two completely
It is unfortunate that this world-wide misunderstand continues to propagating confusion and mislead
medical, environmental and other scientific researchers around the world. Confusion between these
two chemicals is wrongly affecting important scientific research and correcting this error is long
overdue. Scientific researchers and others should be educated to the facts; Methylene Glycol and
Formaldehyde are NOT the same chemical substance.
I have considerable respect for OSHA and very much appreciate the great work they do to improve
worker safety. Even so, OSHA should correct the regulations to be consistent with scientific facts.
They should consider Methylene Glycol and Formaldehyde as two unique and individual substances,
measure them as such and individually report their concentrations using correct chemical names.”