Environmental pollution

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From:Barry Rittman <brittman@mail.db.uth.tmc.edu>
To:histology <histonet@pathology.swmed.edu>
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There has been a lot of discussion regarding the safety of the workplace
and exposure to chemicals.
When I was training in a histology laboratory, I was taught to
understand the chemicals and the the procedures I used and to treat all
materials as potentially dangerous.
I still believe that this  is a good general philosophy.
I think that most individuals either skip over the warning labels on
most products or with continued use develop  the "familiarity breeds
contempt" attitude towards them.  There is however a fine line between
maintaining safety and being neurotic.
We cannot work all the time in the lab with a respirator and an
enclosing jumpsuit with goggles. However, anyone who disregards safety
warnings puts not only themselves but their fellow workers at risk.
Some chemicals are obviously dangerous but for many chemicals we have no
idea about the potential effects of long term exposure.

The above applies not only to the laboratory but also the rest of our
Have you examined the pesticides that you use on gardens, developed
allergies to the various materials in carpets, looked at the
preservatives that are in personal products such as hair shampoo etc.
that you use very day?
Here in Texas,  where sheep are routinely carried off into the sunset by
flying insects, there is some justification for the judicious use of
chemical pesticides. I suspect, however,  that (as in most of the
states) we use them to excess.
Living in Houston I won't even mention air quality.

I would recommend that if you are at work or home and use chemicals,
first you should read the label, then ask yourself should I be using
If you then feel it is appropriate to use, then take whatever
precautions are necessary for its safe use.  Better to be safe than

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