RE: formalin

<< Previous Message | Next Message >> (Philip Oshel) (by way of histonet)
To:histonet <>
Content-Type:text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

This set a bell ringing. I remember the marble chips from invertebrate
collections. But there, the standard was and is to fix in formalin for
24-48 hr or so (we're talking ecologists and systematists here), then
curating in 70% EtOH, usually with 5% glycerin (to prevent the specimens
from drying out when the EtOH evaporated).

Any of that sound familiar to folks who kept tissue specimens forever?


>Does anyone remember when we had marble chips in the formalin container
>to help maintain the neutral pH? ( Guess how long I've been at it!) J:>)
>>From:  Shirley Powell[]
>>Hi Louise,
>>I have been in histology for 35 years, I am 55 years old now and glad I
>>have lived this long.  We were told when I started in histology that the
>>life expectancy of histotechs was around 20 years and rightly so since at
>>that time our ventilation was nil.  I do remember when we started to
>>buffer formalin, not sure how long others were doing it at that time, in
>>1965.  But I imagine the problem with the variability in results is from
>>leaving specimens in formalin for the duration of storage.  Some were
>>keeping specimens in jars for years and years.  This was way before we
>>started putting them in plastic bags in the refrigerator to keep until
>>signed out, moved to the morgue for cold storage for another few weeks,
>>then incinerated.  The interesting cases were kept, you guessed it, in
>>formalin for ever (and you never know what ratio of formalin to tissue
>>was used back then or whether the formalin manufacturer was regulated as
>>to what went into the final product).  Hope this helps you to understand
>>what happened to your specimens then, you young whippersnapper.
>>Shirley Powell

Philip Oshel
PO Box 620068
Middleton, WI  53562

<< Previous Message | Next Message >>