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JUST A FEW DROPS CAN BE LETHAL

Paraformaldehyde (PFA) can cause skin irritation - and also be lethal when ingested.

Assistant Professor Guillaume Thibault from Nanyang Technological University's School of Biological Sciences and the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, said PFA is a commonly used substance in biology.

"You need gloves and a lab coat to handle it properly and it should not be ingested," he said.

"Ingesting just a few drops can be lethal."

He said PFA is used to take samples from cell tissue and can react with internal organs.

"It is poisonous and is also a carcinogen. It is definitely not meant for consumption," he said.

He also said that the tampering or damaging of projects can result in the loss of months of work.

"In some cases, the entire research project is lost," he said.