Re: 10% NBF. How to check the concentration.

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From:amos brooks <>
To:Rob Geske <>
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Hi All,
    I tend to agree with Rob here. The original problem here was a bad lot of
formaldehyde. The manufacturer should either make good on the loss or try to
prove the lot in this lab is fine and the fault was that of the lab. In any case
I would consider purchasing the chemical from a more reputable source.
    As to preparing formalin one's self. There are a number of reasons for
purchasing the formalin from a manufacturer. Although I heartily agree with
Don's sentiment of paying for 90% water being highway robbery at best, even the
simplest of recipes can be screwed up. (how many trays of cookies have you
inadvertently burned eh ... be honest). The results of this can be devastating
when working with patients samples (lives). It seems old school histology held
held more reverence for chemistry, they are usually far more knowledgeable and
responsible. Darn kids these days can't even dilute alcohol without a
calculator!! As a supervisor would you entrust this to them if there were a
common alternative.
    Also, many labs find it more efficient to save the time and not prepare the
10% formaldehyde from 37%. The time it takes to prepare this could be used to be
more productive (like making the lab smell better for the incessant tours of the
lab by the infernal board of directors ... am I ranting?). Keeping the riff-raff
out of the lab does have merit, and may be the strongest point to my contrary.
    I do agree that many of the new breed of histotechs need to get their skirts
off (sorry 'bout the pun ladies) and get back to basics. It needs to be accepted
that there are inherent risks involved in histology, formalin and xylene vapors
included. And eliminating these can have detrimental effects. BUT, it also needs
to be accepted that if there is a safer way of doing something, weather it be a
better fume hood or letting a professional (whom, incidentally you can sue for
bad results) concoct your chemicals, the route needs to be examined as Rob says
some may not be so lucky, lets not leave our health to the three fates..
Amos Brooks
Safety Nazi Extrordanaire

Rob Geske wrote:

> Come on Don !!!!
> and let's all light up a filterless Camel , when we're done with that pie
> too.  i'm sure you could cite individuals who smoked two packs a day until
> they they were 80, but then there are the many others who were not so lucky.
> not quite agreeing with eveything in your post.
> rob

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