Pioneering a solution to significantly reduce building occupants’ exposure to airborne concentrations of formaldehyde.

In 2019 Safe Work Australia (SWA) published advice that recommended a significant reduction in the airborne concentration of formaldehyde that workers are exposed to.

These new recommendations will impact many institutions and organisations that use the chemical, or chemicals with equivalent properties, for various purposes or processes within their buildings.  This is particularly applicable where the process that uses formaldehyde cannot be readily contained in a suitable enclosure such as a fume cupboard to protect the user from exposure.

Where formaldehyde is used for preservation of tissue and donors, exposure to staff and students is more prevalent and institutions such as Mortuaries, Anatomical Teaching Facilities, Medical Research Laboratories and Funeral Homes will likely be impacted by these changes

ADP has been working closely with the University of Melbourne’s Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience which are leaders in scientific research on the human body in health and disease, to provide a solution to protect its students and staff.    

Recognised for its innovation in teaching and medical research of neuroscience, metabolism and diabetes and cell biology, the department’s facilities are integral to the employment of novel and innovative research methods.

The upgraded Anatomy Teaching & Research facilities (Building 181) is set to be the first building in Australia to address the new SWA requirements.

Some of the key elements of the project include:

  • Refurbishment of Level 4 West (former Biochemistry Teaching Lab) replaces the existing dissection facilities on Level 4 East.
  • Incorporation of a raised floor to provide exhaust from below connected into new bespoke ventilated dissection tables.
  • Modification to existing HVAC systems considering single pass, air change rates, odour control and ventilation effectiveness (high-level supply, low-level exhaust, filtration).
  • Extensive CFD simulation modelling to assess the expected formaldehyde exposure rates based on various room and environment conditions and mechanical services arrangements.
  • Establishment of a fully functional Prototype Cell to simulate and test the formaldehyde exposure rates based on various mechanical supply and exhaust configurations, working procedures and room conditions.
  • Upgrading of ventilation to the existing Embalming Room and Cold Room in the Level 1 East Mortuary.

If you would like more information on the project or a presentation to your team, please get in touch:

To learn more get in touch:

Director / National Education Sector Lead

Russell Evans

P: +61 3 9521 1195
M: +61 411 358 090
E: [email protected]

Associate Director / Health / Melbourne

Michael Abdilla

P: +61395211195
M: +61 403 355 989
E: [email protected]

Director / NSW Regional Manager

James Cannam

P: +61 2 8203 5447
M: +61 468 369 972
E: [email protected]