RE: [Histonet] Safety

From:"Scholz, Stephen J."

Hello all;

The storing of a 55 gal in the histo lab is a concern.  Whether or not your CAP inspector had a problem with it is a non-factor.  They probably do not know all the OSHA laws.  I suggest you talk to your facilities management people about this.  We went through this and there are laws ( I don't have the specifics at my finger tips) about the volume that can be stored per square foot in a manned laboratory and after a certain volume it has to be stored in a room that has an explosion out (outside) wall.  It also my need to be stored with a spill containment system that handle up to the 55gal.

I hope this can of worms isn't to big but it is better safe than sorry (lawsuit).  Your facilities management people should be able to help you with the details.  We went through it and it is a pain dealing with some of these inconvenient OSHA laws.

Sorry for the info;

Stephen J. Scholz HT(ASCP)
Histology Coordinator
OSF St. Anthony Medical Center
Rockford IL

Phone: 815-395-5410
Fax: 815-395-5364

	-----Original Message-----
	From: [] On Behalf Of Laurie Colbert
	Sent:	Thursday, February 05, 2004 4:13 PM
	To:	Rebecca Barnhart; Histonet (E-mail)
	Subject:	RE: [Histonet] Safety

	We have a 55 gallon drum that is enclosed in a flammable cabinet.  The flammable cabinet is also vented to the outside.  Although we are now recycling most of our reagents, we are able to dump formalin, alcohol, and xylene all together into this one big drum and have it hauled off.  It makes it very easy on us, and we have never had any problems with CAP or safety inspections.

	As far as fumes and smells go, we have an air filter that we got from Creative Waste Solutions, Inc.  It is supposed to be good at reducing not only the smells but also the exposure to the chemicals.  I use the air filter in the grossing area and several of us noticed a reduction in the formalin fumes.  It is also supposed to work with xylene.  I am not affilitate with Creative Waste and if you're interested, their number is (888) 795-8300.  The people there are great to work with.

	Laurie Colbert
	Huntington Hospital
	Pasadena, CA 

	-----Original Message-----
	From: Rebecca Barnhart []
	Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2004 7:28 AM
	Subject: [Histonet] Safety

	After all the discussion with the pregnancy in the lab that I have read
	it started making me think. I have worked in the lab almost 9 years and
	when I started I noticed some safety concerns and finally some have
	began to change. Don't get me wrong, we use safety precautions but there
	are things we overlook because they have became the norm for us.  For
	example we use to store our used americlear and acetone in gallon jugs
	(the empty alcohol, americlear, acetone, etc ones) under our stainer
	that sits on a wood table.  There would be anywhere from 12 to 16
	gallons until it was dumped, for several weeks up to a month.  Finally
	we are getting it dumped at least once a week and in the very near
	future we are renovating our histo lab.  This will enable us to have a
	55 gallon drum in a flam cabinet so we can dump our waste in as we
	change the processor and stainer.  Some of my concerns are dumping all
	waste (except americal and acetone) down the drain, cover slipping and
	changing the solutions.  Currently we coverslip on the counter, no hood.
	 Same with changing the solutions.  I use the hood to dump old solutions
	out and new in but not everyone does.  How does everyone else handle the
	issue of fumes, dumping waste down the drain and any safety issues? We
	are a small lab, only 2 histo tech and 1 pathologist.  We are in a small
	room (at least with our renovation it will be opened up more, which I
	think will help with ventilation) All new employees seem to notice a
	smell, even ones that are use to the histo environment.  Scary as it
	sounds I am use to the smell.  Thanks in advance for all the input.

	Becky Barnhart 

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