RE: Disinfecting The Cryostat?

From:"Morken, Tim"


Cryostat decontamination references:


College of American Pathologists, Commentary on certification questionaire:

1)     Decontaminate regularly with 70% alcohol.

2)     Defrost, remove trimmings and decontaminate with a tuberculocidal disinfectant, preferably weekly for instruments used daily

3)     Reference: National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards (NCCLS), Protection of Laboratory Workers from Instrument Biohazards and Infectious Disease Transmitted by Blood, body Fluids, and Tissue; Approved Guideline M29-A. Wayne, PA, NCCLS, 1997


NCCLS site:



Decontamination for HIV

Frozen Section Technique for Tissues Infected by the AIDS Virus, Swisher, B.L., Ewing, E.P., J histotechnol, V9, No.1, p.29 (March 1986)

Recommends 95% ETOH (other publications referenced here indicate 95% alcohol is effective against HIV).


Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland, Safe Working and the Prevention of Infection in Clinical Laboratories, Health Services Advisory Committee.

Recommends formalin fuming for 24-48 hours at room temperature. Followed by ammonia for one hour (presumably as a neutralizer).


Laboratory Histopathology: A Complete Reference, Woods and Ellis, Churchill Livingstone, 1994.

Recommends defrosting , washing with 70% alcohol, complete cleaning. (no references given).


For those who like to read a lot:

APIC Guideline for Selection and Use of Disinfectants, Association for Professionals in Infection Control (APIC), American Journal of Infection Control, Vol 24(4), August 1996, 313-342. A good review of all disinfectants in use and the pros and cons of each.




Tim Morken
Roybal 1/2328

-----Original Message-----
From: Jones, Laura []
Sent: Monday, April 21, 2003 2:30 PM
To: Histonet (E-mail)
Subject: Disinfecting The Cryostat?

Apologies if this has been addressed before, but our internet has been taken away, so we no longer have access to archives. 

We are preparing for our upcoming CAP inspection.  Regarding the question about disinfection of the cryostat: Leica has told our lab manager that cleaning with 100% ethanol is adequate.  They also said that bleach should not be used and that their product "Cryofect" cannot be sold in the US.  Can you please tell us, does cleaning with 100% ethanol really qualify as "disinfecting"?  If you have different procedures or suggestions, we'd appreciate those as well.  Thanks in advance!

Laura, Donna & Tina
Sharon Regional Health System
Sharon, PA

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