Chemical Structure / August 8, 2018 / Isabelle Vinson
Paraformaldehyde (PFA) is the smallest polyoxymethylene, the polymerization product of formaldehyde with a typical degree of polymerization of 8–100 units. Paraformaldehyde commonly has a slight odor of formaldehyde due to decomposition. Paraformaldehyde is a poly-acetal. Paraformaldehyde forms slowly in aqueous formaldehyde solutions as a white precipitate, especially if stored in the cold. Formalin actually contains very little monomeric formaldehyde; most of it forms short chains of polyformaldehyde. A small amount of methanol is often added as a stabilizer to limit the extent of polymerization.
Benzylamine occurs biologically from the action of the N-substituted formamide deformylase enzyme, which is produced by Arthrobacter pascens bacteria. This hydrolase catalyses the conversion of N-benzylformamide into benzylamine with formate as a by-product. Benzylamine is degraded biologically by the action of the monoamine oxidase B enzyme, resulting in benzaldehyde.
Exposure to high concentrations also causes effects on the central nervous system (CNS). Animal data indicate that long-term exposure to benzyl chloride by gavage (placing it experimentally in the stomachs of mice) increased the incidence of benign and malignant tumors at multiple sites and resulted in a significant increase in thyroid tumors in female rats. EPA has classified benzyl chloride as a Group B2, probable human carcinogen.
Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), an accepted contraction of sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), is an anionic detergent and surfactant found in many personal care products (soaps, shampoos, toothpaste etc.). SLES is an inexpensive and very effective foaming agent. SLES, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS), and sodium pareth sulfate are surfactants that are used in many cosmetic products for their cleaning and emulsifying properties. They behave similarly to soap.
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