RE: Coverslipping without gloves

From:"Smith, Allen"

Warning labels are often boilerplate that the manufacturer puts on every
chemical they sell.
Lewis's HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS DESK REFERENCE lists xylene as "moderately
toxic."  Acetone, the principal component of nail polish remover is also
listed as "moderately toxic."
If you could look up the components of xylene substitutes, you would
probably find that they are only slightly less toxic than xylene.  Limonene
is less acutely toxic but more chronically toxic.
There is no substitute for good ventilation. I had a large fume hood built
into my lab.  I turn it on when coverslipping, and it creates enough draft
that I can coverslip outside the hood without smelling the xylene.

Allen A. Smith, Ph.D.
Barry University
School of Graduate Medical Sciences
    Podiatric Medicine and Surgery
Miami Shores, Florida  33161-6695 

-----Original Message-----
From: Bartlett, Jeanine []
Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2003 9:03 AM
To: 'Charles.Embrey'; 'sue hacker (IAH-C)';
Subject: RE: Coverslipping without gloves

I would like to say that often in email the tone can be misunderstood.  That
is why it is so very important to choose your words carefully as they can so
easily be misinterpreted.

Jeanine Bartlett, HT(ASCP)
Centers for Disease Control
Infectious Disease Pathology Activity
Atlanta, GA

-----Original Message-----
From: Charles.Embrey []
Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2003 8:46 AM
To: 'sue hacker (IAH-C)'; ''
Subject: RE: Coverslipping without gloves

How can showing concerns for other peoples welfare be unfriendly?  Ummmm,
maybe by calling them IRRESPONSIBLE.

-----Original Message-----
From: sue hacker (IAH-C) []
Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2003 6:34 AM
To: ''
Subject: Coverslipping without gloves

As my last words on the subject, I would like to say that I wasn't
criticising the processing of tissues with Xylene, I'm not sure that it was
ever an issue. I merely said that I was concerned that individuals were
coverslipping without gloves using Xylene. If as has also been stated that
Xylene penetrates Nitrile Gloves, then surely it must enter the skin. Xylene
has a warning on the bottle, Harmful by inhalation and in contact with
skin.I think that speaks for itself.
I don't consider myself paranoid because I put my own health and safety and
that of my staff first. (nor do the staff)  
There are a number of Xylene substitutes available, the best one I have
across which we use (and no, it doesn't smell of oranges) is Safeclear. Some
people may think it's not as as good as Xylene for processing (we're OK with
it) but as far as we know it is a lot safer.
Using Xylene, we used to suffer from tiredness, headaches and prior to
mounting with nitrile gloves severe dryness of the skin. We have the same
fume extraction with Safeclear but none of the previous symptoms.
I still thought we were in a friendly discussion, how can showing concerns
for other peoples welfare be unfriendly?.
Susan Hacker,

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