RE: uranium in histologic procedures

From:"Bartlett, Jeanine" <>

We also purchase 1% uranyl nitrate from Poly Scientific.  In the
accompanying product information sheet we have, it does mention using
depleted uranyl nitrate.  It states that the products contain 0.2
microcuries per gram which is "considerably less than the following everyday
articles you use:  compass: 10 microcuries, smoke and fire detectors: 1-100
microcuries", etc.  It seems pretty benign in the general scheme of things.

Jeanine Bartlett, HT(ASCP)
Centers for Disease Control
1600 Clifton Rd. NE
Mailstop G-32
Atlanta, GA  30333 

-----Original Message-----
From: Weems, Joyce []
Sent: Friday, February 09, 2001 1:27 PM
To: '';;;
Subject: RE: uranium in histologic procedures

We purchase the 1% from PolyScientific. It's warnings would scare the pants
off ya! Nothing about being depleted. 
Joyce Weems
Pathology Manager
Saint Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta

	-----Original Message-----
	From: []
	Sent:	Friday, February 09, 2001 12:20 PM
	Subject:	uranium in histologic procedures

	Uranium nitrate (uranyl nitrate) is used in a few histologic stains,
	particular silver impregnation stains, including a recently
discussed stain 
	for Helicobacter. Questions are often raised about its radiotoxicity
	chemical toxicity. A recent editorial in The Lancet is informative.

	Toxicity of depleted uranium - by N.D. Priest (School of Health,
	and Environmental Sciences, Middlesex University, London N11 2NQ, UK
- The Lancet 27 Jan 2001; 357: 244-6. (I suppose
it's on 
	the Web, but I've got a paper copy.)

	Priest describes depleted uranium as uranium from which 70-80% of
the highly 
	radioactive U-235 and U-234 have been removed. Depleted uranium has
come into 
	commercial use in several settings, including X-ray shielding in
	but it has recently gained notoriety because of its use in
	munitions in the former Yugoslavia (and in fact earlier, in the Gulf

	Of histologic interest is the statement that "Depleted uranium has
	uranium of 
	natural isotopic composition as a less radioactive substitute for
some uses - 
	e.g., laboratory chemicals." Is this substitution stated on labels?
I don't 
	have a recent label to check. - The substitution is not sufficient
to affect 
	computations at the level of precision needed in histologic work.

	Priest's review suggests that the need for chemical or radiologic
	with handling uranyl salts is not very great from a practical
viewpoint - 
	though what keeps the Herrn Inschpektors happy is another question.

	(Parenthetically, some bottles of lithium carbonate note that the
lithium has 
	been depleted of lithium 6 - used in making tritium for hydrogen
bombs - and 
	this substitution might actually be of soposition.)

	I've cross posted this note to the pathologists' PATHO-L list and to
	histologists' Histonet.

	Bob Richmond
	Samurai Pathologist
	Knoxville TN

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