Janet M. Cope, Ph.D., OTR/L, associate professor of physical therapy, and Stewart Holt, Ph.D., molecular biology, have published an article in the Journal of Physical Therapy Education with Erin Sanders G'09, and third-year DPT students Laura Corriher and Davis Templeton.
Anatomists Kathy Starr, Ph.D.; Jack Thomas, Ph.D.; and Ed Kernik, Ph.D., who teach in a number of PT education programs in the United States, participated in the study as on-site investigators and assisted in co-authoring the paper.
In the article, titled “Comparison of personal formaldehyde levels in anatomy laboratories of five physical therapy education programs,” the authors found that individuals in PT anatomy laboratories are routinely being exposed to levels of formaldehyde above health organization standards. Although students and instructors are exposed to similar levels of this known carcinogen, instructors rarely report being bothered by the odors or side effects of formaldehyde. Thus the instructors may show less concern regarding this safety issue, placing them at greater risk of long term health problems from chronic overexposure to formaldehyde.