Damien Hirst’s Art May Have Leaked Formaldehyde Fumes, Study Says

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Damien Hirst’s sculpture, “The Physical Impossibility of Death in a Mind of Someone Living” (1991), during Tate Modern in 2012. He is famous for works displaying sharks and other animals dangling in formaldehyde.

Kerim Okten/European Pressphoto Agency

LONDON — The British artist Damien Hirst shot to fame, in part, by works that displayed sharks and other animals dangling in formaldehyde. Now, a news from a British systematic biography has found that some of those works competence have leaked formaldehyde smoke during levels most aloft than allowed.

The report, published this month in Analytical Methods, a peer-reviewed biography of a Royal Society of Chemistry, is formed on tests finished during a Hirst solo muster during Tate Modern in London in 2012, as good as some-more recently during a Summer Palace in Beijing. The essay in that a commentary were published focuses on a efficiency of a new sensor grown to exam for formaldehyde fumes.

“One of Hirst’s categorical subjects is a setting-up of hulk fish tanks filled by thousands of liters of FA, in that total biological specimens are immersed, such as zebras, cows, calves, even sharks,” a epitome of a essay said, referring to formaldehyde fumes. “It has been found that a tanks are surrounded by FA fumes, constantly exuded in a atmosphere (likely around a sealant), reaching levels of 5 ppm, one sequence of bulk aloft than a 0.5 ppm extent set adult by legislation.”

Formaldehyde is personal as a carcinogen in a United States and a European Union. The effects of short-term bearing can embody bruise throats, nosebleeds and coughing, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

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“Tate always puts a reserve of a staff and visitors first, and we take all required precautions when installing and displaying a exhibitions,” a museum pronounced in a emailed matter on Thursday. “These works contained a really intermix formaldehyde resolution that was contained within hermetic tanks.”

The museum also supposing a matter from Pier Giorgio Righetti, a highbrow during Politecnico di Milano university in Italy and an author of a paper, observant that a investigate “was dictated to exam a uses of a new sensor for measuring formaldehyde fumes, and we do not trust that a commentary advise any risk for visitors during Tate Modern.”

Reached by write on Thursday, Professor Righetti endorsed that he felt that visitors to a muster would not have been unprotected to damaging levels of a chemicals. But he pronounced that, given a length of time that staff members competence have been benefaction during a exhibition, he was incompetent to make a identical matter on a health effects a formaldehyde levels competence have had on them.

A matter posted on Mr. Hirst’s website on Thursday and attributed to his company, Science Ltd., said: “We do unchanging contrast and a experts tell us that during a levels reported by this journal, your eyes would be streaming and we would be in critical earthy discomfort. No such complaints were done to us during a uncover — or during any other shows featuring a formaldehyde works. We don’t trust any risk was acted to a public.”

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