Re: Xylene substitutes.

Ian Montgomery in Glasgow, Scotland, posts about xylene substitutes.

There are two classes of xylene substitutes, limonene and aliphatics. 
Limonene is a turpentine-like substance that smells like orange peels (which 
is where they get it). The aliphatics are chemically defined synthetic 
hydrocarbons similar to the petroleum cut called naphtha.

Aliphatics from different manufacturers are NOT interchangeable - for 
example, they have flash points ranging from 78 to 145 C. 

Not a lot of information is available, I think, about compatibility with 
mounting media. Resinous mounting media still contain xylene (or the closely 
related aromatic hydrocarbons benzene and toluene). Fame and fortune await 
the inventor of a resin mountant without aromatic hydrocarbons - even Dick 
Dapson hasn't solved this problem yet (I guess!)

I've used Surgipath's Clearium out of alcohol and had no problems with it. 
(THIS pathologist would have noticed the substitution!) In the pathology lab, 
I've found that the fussiest people about quality of mounting tend to be the 
cytotechnologists, and I always want to ask them what they're thinking.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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