RE: Xylene vs Xylene Substitutes

From:"Johnson, Teri"

Bruce, Mari Ann, et al,

If one uses aliphatic hydrocarbons instead of limonene-based clearing agents, the odor is barely detectable.  I'm sure there are others, but ClearRite (Richard-Allan) and ProPar (Anatech) are a couple that come to mind.  I use both products, and still have them in my fume hood.  I think a benchtop fume extractor would work well using these products.

Yes, air exchanges are important.  But I would still put in a fume extraction system to use with all of these staining reagents, alcohol as well as whatever clearing agent you choose to use.

To adjust my timing in the processor and deparaffinization/dehydration table is a small price to pay for keeping xylene out of the lab.  I find that I don't really have to adjust it that much, maybe 15 minutes more in each of the "xylene" stations in the processor.

It takes the slides a little longer to dry, and you have to use a toluene-based mounting medium or you will get the whitish fogging like you described.

Just my 2 cents worth...

Teri Johnson
Manager Histology Core Facility
Stowers Institute for Medical Research
1000 E. 50th St.
Kansas City, Missouri  64110

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2001 2:41 PM
Subject: Xylene vs Xylene Substitutes


If this is a temporary setup for staining and coverslipping, the room
itself probably does not have adequate ventilation. It was not set up for
this. See if some temporary arrangemnts can be made for ventilation.

Also in many of the labs that I have worked there has to be so many air
exchanges per minute to help with the ordor of Xylene and other chemicals.

If you switch to a Xylene Substitute you will still have ordors that bother
others, also, with Xylene Substitues you also have to adjust your timing
and other things to achieve the same results. These results may never be
the same as Xylene. If you have any questions feel free to contact me. Best
of luck!!

Mari Ann Mailhiot BA HT ASCP
Applications Specialist
Leica Microsystems
847 317 7267

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