Re: Hazards of formaldehyde

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From:amos brooks <>
To:"P. Emry" <>
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    I can sympathize with your condition and I have no doubt that some or even
all may be formalin related. I do however feel it necessary to emphasize that
although formalin is toxic and one of the worst chemicals we work with, we
must endure it regardless of the upstart fixatives. Formalin is the most
reliable fixative available. It is basically universally used, so most
staining procedures are based upon the premise that the tissue is fixed in
formalin. If a lab changes fixatives they need to reevaluate ALL their
procedures, and all other labs need to change to the same basic fixative for
any uniformity to exist.
    Many labs do not send out tissue to be studied further and for them this
is a realistic idea. Outside these labs there is a vast interlinking network
in which cases are sent for further testing, consultations and proficiency
testing etc. For results to be uniform, the processes need to be uniform.
    The long and short of it is I think formalin, (used as SAFELY as possible)
is a necessary evil and a part of the job that needs to be accepted and dealt
with as such. (as is the case with all chemicals we use).
Amos Brooks

"P. Emry" wrote:

> Why formaldehyde is still used when other fixatives are available is a
> profound mystery to me.
> Fight for your rights to a safe work place.  Trust me, at 57 I have a
> right to an opinion on the consequences.
> Trisha

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