Re: Mercury/zinc removal

From:Neuropathology <>

I agree.  Why use a mercury containing fixative with all the environmental
implications when you can get by without it?

Andy Shand

----- Original Message -----
To: <>
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2000 4:08 PM
Subject: Mercury/zinc removal

> Iodine in alcohol or xylene is reputed to remove mercury deposits,
> but as Peggy Wenk has pointed out, it creates an interesting disposal
> problem.  Your hazardous waste hauler must be informed that mercury
> is present.  They can then advise you if it is feasible to use such a
> de-Zenkerizing solution.
> Keep this in mind, whether you use a water-based or solvent-based
> system to remove mercury deposits:  that solution plus at least the
> next one will contain mercury.  Waste with as little as 1 part per
> billion is prohibited from going down the drain in the US.  In the
> EPA Region I (New England), there is a mandate to virtually eliminate
> ANY mercury from wastewater by 2005.  Current technology allows
> detection down to 0.1 ppb, so that will be the new level by 2005 if
> finer detection limits are not available by then.
> This points up the futility of using any mercury-containing fixative.
> You cannot operate your lab and be in compliance with US
> environmental regulations.
> Zinc does not leave a pigmented deposit and thus does not need a
> de-Zenkerization step in staining.
> Dick

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