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Re: sawdust

Karen...At 11:30 PM 12/17/97 +0000, you wrote:

>Do you have any information on using sawdust as
>animal bedding?  A wood cabinet manufacturer in our state gives his
>sawdust and wood waste to a dairy farmer for use as animal bedding.
>The manufacturer is concerned that the animals may absorb some of the
>urea formaldehyde used to make the plywood and that it may enter the
>food chain (via milk).  If you can find any research in this area, I
>would really appreciate having it.

It is conceivable that formaldehyde (which is a rather simple oxygenated
organic molecule) would be quickly oxidized to formic acid and then to the
sodium salt of formic acid i.e. sodium formate.  

Should penetration of the protein lipid layer of the cow's skin (hide)
occur, then there would be an initial tissue irritation, however, the
minute amount of formaldehyde that might enter the cow's bloodstream from
the urea formaldehyde matrix would quickly be oxidized to the acid form so
as to increase the water solubility of the formaldehyde and hence it's
ultimate speedy removal from the cow through urine excretion as the sodium
salt of the formic acid.  Potential residual concentrations of formaldehyde
in the milk would not be expected since the main excretory route of the
metabolite would be through the urine.

My attorney has advised me to place a disclaimer in this response to cover
my tracks but I'll take the hits as they come  given the state of affairs
of the environmental, health, and safety industry in the good old US of A


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