RE: formalin

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From:"Weems, Joyce" <> (by way of histonet)
To:histonet <>
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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[]
>Sent: 	Wednesday, December 09, 1998 10:11 AM
>To: 	Ms Louise Taylor
>Cc: 	Histonet
>Subject: 	Re: formalin
>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
>Ms Louise Taylor wrote:
>> Hello histonetters,
>> I am currently engaged on a seriously retrospective project involving
>> performing PCR on  paraffin embedded archival tissues some of which
>> are more than 30 years old. The variablity of the DNA viability and
>> content is astounding. A factor that I can only ascribe to the
>> various fixatives used way back then.
>> Could some of the older histotechnologists give me some insight into
>> what was common practice in say, the late 50's early 60's?
>> (I will understand if some of you just say that you are reporting
>> hearsay - after all - we don't all want to reveal our age?)
>> When did buffered formalin come into vogue? As a mere whippersnapper
>> of some 17 years experience - I can recall the unpleasantness of
>> trying to make up buffered formalin in 25l quantities - an innovation
>> and a great pain to a raw recruit.!
>> I will appreciate any insight into what really happened
>> many thanks
>> Louise Taylor
>> Johannesburg
>> South Sfrica

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