Chemicals used in Funeral Profession

Acetone(2 propanone; dimethylformaldehyde; demethyl ketone; betaketopropane; methyl ketone; propanone; pyroacetic ether)
- A norcotic in high concentrations which can cause skin irritation. Prolonge inhalation can cause headache, dryness, and throat irritation. A dangerous fire risk when exposed to heat, flame, or oxidizers. Found in: accessory embalming chemicals, external sealing composition, lip tint, solvents, and sealants.
Alkyl dimethylbenzyl ammonuim chloride
this material belongs to the chemical family called quaternary ammonium compounds. It is a skin and eye irritant, has moderate-to-high oral toxicity, and is moderately toxic via skin absorption. Found in: cold disinfectant, embalming spray, and embalming cauterants.
Amaranth(trisoduim soalt of 1[4-soldo-1-naphthylozo]-2-naphthol-3, 6-disulfonic acid)
- Formerly known as red dye #2, this member of the azo fye family is a suspected human carcinogen. It is no longer acceptable in food, drugs, or cosmetics. It is no longer acceptable in food, drugs, or cosmetics. Found in: coloring powder for arterial fluids.
Moderate to low oral toxicity. Llisted by Interanation Agency for Research on CAncer (IARC) and National Toxicology Program (NTP) as a possible carcinogen. found in: cavity fluid.
causes nose and throat irritation; may cause bronchial spasm, chest pain, pulmonary edema, and skin burns. Incompatible with hypochlorite (household bleach) that is oftern used to disinfect the priparation area after embalming. Found in: cleaning agents used to neutralize formaldehyde.
2- Buteoxyethanol(butyl Cellosove, ethylene glycol mononbutyl ether)
Mildly irritating to skin, and can be absorbed through contact. It is a stron respiratory and eye irritant, and exposure may result in transient corneal clouding; repeated overexposure can cause, fatigue, headache, nausea,and tremors. It is a moderate fire risk, which eill react with oxidizers. Found in arterial embalming chemicals.
High to moderate ingestion hazard. Local exposure may cause irrritation. Found in:embalming fluid.
Carbon tetrachloride(tetrachloromethane)-
Can cause depression, nausea, vomiting, and local skin irritation; prolonged exposure and absorption through the skin could produce liver and kidney failure. Found in organic solvents.
Chlorine salts(hypochlorites)-
Chlorine salts produce cholorinated vapor causing moderate to sever skin and eye irritation, tissue damage, and moderate to severe respiratory irritation. They are stron oxidizers and are highly reactive, and can be a serious fire tisk when wcposed to reducing agents (acids) or petroleum derivatives. Found in:embalming deodorant, bleach, and disinfectants.
Formerly used as an anesthetic, chloroform causes depression and skin and eye irritation; prolonged exposrue can lead to cardiac and respiratory arrest or parlysis; chronic exposure may cause liver damage. Listed in IARC and NTP as a possible carcinogen. Found in: accessory embalming chemical sealant.
Cresol (2-hydroxy-4methylphenol)
The health effects are similar to those of phenol, but not as severe. It is corrosive to skin, eyes, and mucous membranies; capable of causing burns at point of contact; and can be absorbed through the skin. Chronic lo level exposure can causeskin rash and discoloration, gastrointestinal disturbances, nervous system disturbances, and kidney and liver damage. It is a moderate fire hazard that can react vigorously with oxidizing materials. Found in: disinfectant and accessory embalming chemicals.
a severe eye irritant and mild skin irritant which is moderately toxic through ingestion. It can react with oxidizers. Found in: humectant and arterial embalming fluid.
Diethylene glycol
a skin and eye irritant which is highly toxic through inhalation. It can react with oxidizers. Found in: arterial and cavity embalming fluids.
a strong irritant to skin and other tissues, it is readily absorbed through the skin. Inhalation or skin contact can cause gastrointestinal disturbances, facial flushing, elevated blood pressure, cantral nervous system (CNS) disorders, and liver and didney damatge. It is a moderate fire risk which can be an explosion hazard when exposed to flame. Dimethylformamide is reative with a variety of halogenated materials and organic. Found in: solvents.
Ethyl acetate
irritates the eyes, gums, skin, and respiratory tract. Repeated overexposure can cause conjunctivitis and roneal cluding; high concentrations can result in congestion of the liver and kidneys. Ethyl acetate is a dangerous fire risk. Found in: embalming cosmetic spray, cavity fluid, sanitizing spray, and sealing lacquer.
Ethy alcohol (denatured ethano, SD alcohol)
Ethyl alcohos is generally not considered and occupation healthe hazard, but its flammability makes it a safety hazard. The terms "SDA or SD alcohol" means "speciallly denaruted alcohol." SDA is ethyl alcohol, has been added to make it unfit for human consumption. Found in: cavity fluid, cosmetics.
EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid)
EDTA is found in a variet of products as either tetrasodium or disodium salt. Both react chemically to bind calcuim, which inhibits the blood clottin mechanism. EDTA is a skin irritant, causing dryness and cracking. Foun in: arterial fluids, priinjection fluids, co-injection fluids, cavity fluids.
Ethylene dichloride ( 1,2 dichloroethene or 1,1 dichloroethene)
a strong irritant to skin and eyes which is tocic via inhalation and skin absorption. Etylne dichloride is listed in IARC as a possible caricinogen. It is a dangerous fire risk. Found in: embalming fluid and cavity fluid.
Ethylene glycol (1,2 ethonediol)
mederately irritating to skin, eyes, and mucous membranes; very toxic through inhalation, producing depression and damage to blood forming organs. Ethylene glycol does not readily vaporize at room temperature, and inhalation would be likely only by heating or mechanical action (aerosolization). Ingestion can lead to respiratory, renal, and cardiac failure. Brain damage may also result. Chronic exposure can cause anorexia, decreased urinary output, and invlountary rapid eye movement. Ethylene glycol is combustible and can react volently with certain acids and oxidezers. Found in: artirial and cavity embalming chemicals, external embalming seal, tissue surface embalming seal, anticoagulant/clot remover, and water correctives.
Ethylene glycol monomethyl ether ( methyl cellosolve)
moderately toxic via inhalatio ingestion, and skin absorption. May cause conjunctivitis, transient corneal clouding, and upper respiratory tract irritation. Found in: cosmetics.
Formic Acid (methonoic acid)
corrosive to skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. Formic acid has a moderate to high oral toxicity, and can be absorbed through the skin. It is a moderate rire risk. Found in: supplemental embalming chemicals and bleaching agents.
Hexylene glycol(2,4 hexanediol
and eye, skin, and mucous membranie irritant which is moderately toxic through inhalation and ingestion. Large oral doses can have a narcotic effect. A low fire risk, hexylene glycol can react with oxidizers. Found in: arterial embalming fluid.
Isobutane (2 methylpropane)
while otherwise practically nontoxic, the inhalation of isobutane can cause suffocation. A dangerous fire risk when exposed to heat, flame, or oxidizers. Found in: aerosol propellants, cosmetics, insecticides, and deodorants.
Isopropyl alcohol (2 propanol)
an eye, nose, and throat irritant, in high concentration, it causes: mildle narcotic effects, corneal burn, and eye damage. Drying to the skin, isopropy alcohol is moderately toxic via ingestion. Ingestion or inhalation of heavy vapro concentrations can cause flushing and DNS depression. As little as 100mL can be fatal if ingested. It is a dangerous fire risk and a moderate explosion risk when exposed to heat, flame, and oxidizers. Found in: cavity and accessory embalming fluids, feature builder, cosmetics, color concentrate, fungal inhibitors, preinjection chemicals, liquid embalming cosmetics and sprays, tissue filler, supplemental embalming gels, aerosol deodorant, sealing lacquers, and solvent thinners.
Mehyl alcohol ( wood alcohol, methanol)
a skin, eye, and respiratory tract irritant which is moderately toxic via inhalation, and moderately to highly toxic through ingestion. The main target is the CNS, but it also affect the eyes, optic nerve, and possibly the retina. Overexposure can cause depression, sight impairment, weakness, and gastrointestinal disturbances. Severe overexposure can result in cardiac depression. because metyhl alcohol is metaboloized slowly, sufficient daily intake can lead to cumulative exposure symptoms. Methyl alcohol is a dangerous fire and explosion risk when exposed to heat, flame, and oxidizers. Found in: arterial, cavity, and accessor embalming fluids and gels; cleaning and disinfecting fluids, gels and solvent' tissue fillers; embalming cauterants; bleaching agents; cosmetics; and color concentrates.
Methyl ethyl ketone ( 2 butanone)
repeated exposure can cause skin irritation and inflammation; vapors can produce eye, nose, and throat irritation. Methyl ethyl ketone is highly volatile and a narcotic by inhalation, affecting both the CNS and the peripheral nerves. Methyl ethyl ketone can react violently with aldehydes and acids. It is a dangerous fire risk and moderate explosion risk when exposed to heat, spark, or flame. Found in: embalming cosmetic spray, sealing lacquer, and thinners.
Methylene chloride (dichloromethane)
high oral toxicity, very dangerous to the eyes, causing corrosion of eye tissue. Because it vaporizes readily, inhalation is an important hazard, resulting in CNS depression, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and a feeling of intoxication. The material can also irritate the respiratory tract, cause liver damage, and exacerbate coronary artery disease. Chronic exposure can cause skin, CNS and liver damage. the material is a suspected human carcinogen. The body metabolizes methylene chloride into carbon monoxide, lowering the bloods ability to carry oxygen. The problem is intensified for smokers and those with anemia or related conditions. Found in: external embalming sealants, aerosol insecticides and deodorizers, cosmetic sprays, and solvents.
Mineral spirits (naphtha, hexane and heptane distillates)
moderately toxic via ingestion and moderately irritating to skin, eyes, and mucous membranes, the mist is highly irritating to the respiratory tract. Symptoms of overexposure often resemble drunkenness. Chronic overexposure can lead to photo-sensitivity, headache, nausea, dizziness, indigestion, and lack of appetite. Mineral spirits are incompatible with strong oxidizers and are highly dangerous fire risk when exposed to heat, flame, or spark. Found in: liquid embalming cosmetics and sprays, and organic solvents.
Molding plaster (calcium sulfate, gypsum, plaster of Paris)
generally considered a nuisance dust, although prolonged or repeated exposures can induce lung disease. Found in: cavity desiccant and embalming powders.
a dangerous fire and explosion hazard when in dry form. Less flammable when wet. Found in: feature builder and sealing lacquer.
Orthodichlorobenzene (1,2 dichlorobenzene)
moderately toxic via inhalation and ingestion; irritating to skin, eyes, and upper respiratory tract. Acute exposure can induce narcotic symptoms. Repeated or prolonged skin contact with liquid can cause burns. Chronic exposure may cause lung, liver, or kidney damage. It is a moderate fire risk when exposed to heat or flame and can react violently with oxidizing materials. Found in: cavity and supplemental embalming chemicals and gels, and bleaching agents.
Oxalic acid (ethanedioic acid)
Highly irritating and caustic to skin. Damage is characterized by cracks, fissures, slow - healing ulcerations, blue skin, and yellowish, brittle nails. Highly irritating to tissues via ingestion. Can cause corrosion of mucous membranes, severe gastrointestinal disturbances, and acute poisoning. The major effects of inhalation of dusts and mists are corrosion and ulceration of the nose and throat, severe eye irritation, nosebleed, headache, and nervousness. Chronic exposure can cause upper respiratory and gastrointestinal disturbances, urinary disorders, gradual weight loss, and nervous system disturbances. Found in; embalming adhesive gels.
Paradichlorobenzene (1,4 dichlorobenzene)
Moderately toxic via inhalation; symptoms include irritation of skin, eyes, and upper respiratory tract. Prolonged or chronic skin exposure can cause burns. In liquid form, it can be absorbed through the skin. Chronic exposure can cause liver, kidney, and lung damage. It is a moderate fire risk, and incompatible with oxidizers. Found in: deodorizing powders.
can produce formaldehyde when heated. Paraformaldehyde has moderate oral toxicity and low dermal toxicity. It is a moderate fire risk and can react with oxidizers. Found in : embalming/deodorizing powders, sealing powders, cavity desiccants, and hardening compounds.