It is well known that formaldehyde (FA) is cytotoxic and potentially carcinogenic. Although the individual effects of this reactant on cells has been investigated, the cytotoxicity exerted by the coexistence of FA is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of FA on the liver in rats, by light and electron microscopic level. We used 18 Wistar albino rats divided into three groups, exposed to 0 (control), 19.7 ppm FA gas for a total of 4 weeks, 8 h/day, 5 days a week (subacute) and 20.3 parts per million (ppm) FA gas for a total of 13 weeks, 8 h/day, 5 days a week (subchronic). After the completion of the exposure period, they were sacrificed by decapitation and their liver tissue samples were taken in order to be processed for light and electron microscopic studies. Light microscopic evaluation of liver tissue samples of FA-exposed rats revealed enlarged sinusoids filled with blood and mononuclear cell infiltration in the portal areas and around the central veins. In addition, some of the hepatocytes showed loss of cytoplasm, and some had a hyperchromatic nucleus. The cells of FA-exposed livers, on the other hand, showed an electron-lucent ground-cytoplasm and a hypertrophy of the smooth-surfaced endoplasmic reticulum. In conclusion, we observed that exposure FA caused diverse histopathological changes indicating the destruction in the liver tissue and this destruction has direct relationship with the length of the exposure period.