[Histonet] Chemical Safety


Rebecca-  If you have installed engineering controls in the lab like fume
hoods for transfering hazardous solvents and some employees refuse to use
them, your lab or hospital's safety officer and lab administration need to
counsel those individuals and begin progressive discipline for continued
unsafe work practices.   This assumes that you have a written chemical
hygiene plan with specific PPE's and engineering controls designated for
each hazardous task in the laboratory (task assessment).
You should not be dumping methanol down the drain- ?does your hematology lab
do that? It is on the DEC/EPA schedule as toxic. We are also careful that
ethanol baths saturated with hazardous clearing agents are added to the
waste clearing agents for disposal and not washed away. We use Americlear
too for purging the processor and in the staining lines- but we use xylene
to clear on the processor and as the last coverslip bath. Americlear is cool
stuff-supposedly it has ANTITUMOR effects and has been fed to humans in
clinical trials. Some people are violently allergic to it- though I have
never met (or worked with someone) who is.
 Also, special stain waste that contains heavy metals like chromium, silver,
mercury, or DAB should not be dumped down the drain.
Hope this helps.

Jeff Silverman
Pathologists' Assistant/Safety Officer
Southside Hospital
Bay Shore, New York USA

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