Re:Pregnancy, dioxane, formalin; LN2; RNA protocols

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From:Louise Burrell <> (by way of histonet)
To:histonet <>
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On Wed, 9 Dec 1998, Louise Burrell wrote:
> Dear all:   Hi!  As far as pregnancy and formalin----I would be much moore
> concerned about Xylenes---wear nitrile gloves and have a properly
> fitted (by your health and safety dept) respirator. Back in cave man
> days--the 70's---I grossed in tissues, as well as changed and worked with
> a rotary tissue processor that used DIOXANE!!!!!!! as it's clearing agent.
> I made up formalin from scratch, coverslipped all histology and cytology
> slides, etc. etc. etc--with NO PROTECTION!  We did not know all this.
   I was
> pregnant-and other than some of the chemical smells nauseating
> me---none of the pathologists seemed worried about me or my baby.  My son
> weighed almost ten lbs with  apgars  of 9 & 9.  He just turned 23 yrs.
> old, is married (1 year) and (just found out) his wife is pregnant.   The
> really good news is that all those nasty things did not hurt him
> neurologically---John Alexander Flynn is graduating from Baylor LAW school
> on Feb 6, 1999!! So,  other than this being an update to my many histology
> friends whom I may not have been in contact with recently--I am
> bragging!!!!.
> Also, in every situation--assume the worst in histology (use Universal
> Precautions) and protect yourselves for your children and grandchildren's
> sake!!    Better safe than sorry,  always.
> LN2 disposal/evaporation/ and decontamiation
> I go to the Neuro ORs on a regular basis to pick up brain
> specimens--tumors in a dewar's with LN2.  I have tried to request surgeons
> to place tissue in a 4mil. thick ziploc plastic baggie--then plop into
> LN2----however, they don't want to.  It would help in many ways-but,
> instead I clean with 20-50% clorox (sodium hypochlorite) after I have to
> fish out all the tiny particles---let's not forget about JCD--whoops--CJD
> today!!!!!!! A very nasty dementing disease proven to afflict Histotechs
> in the past--victims usually do not survive for more than 2-5 yrs. after
> exposure!!  BE CAREFUL!! I usually let LN2 evaporate under the hood
> first.  Remember,in order to activate sodium hypochlorite--you need to add
  very hot H2O.  Then, let dewar's sit in that mixture for awhile  and
  then rinse well
> with more hot, hot H2O and then turn upside down on a pipette tip boxlid
> to drain well---then replace in my  -80* freezer for the next case.
> If I may be of any more assistance- please write.
> Michelle Down ---I am having trouble faxing to you---It will be
> accomplished as soon as my fax cooperates-

> YOU ALL!!!
> Mary Vaughan-where are you?  Miss our chats.
> See y'all next year--byeeee
> With warmest wishes and finally off my" soapbox"
> Louise  "Beezie"   Burrell
> Washington University School of Medicine
> Cancer Center Tumor Repository Core Laboratory Facility
> St. Louis, MO.  63110
> (314) 454-7615 phone


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