RE: [Histonet] Xylene or "solvents" a hazard?

From:"Bill Sinai"


I agree with all you have said about the article, in my 38 years in the
laboratory 34 in Histopathology, I have never known of a female staff member
having any troubles with birth defects, however, we have had some who have
experienced miscarriages.  But they were usually staff who had not worked
for long in the laboratory and the minute we knew they were pregnant they
were moved to minimise any exposure.

Limonene is now the bain of my life, I have become sensitised to the smell
although I have had very limited exposure over the years.  An allergy test
gave results in about 15 seconds, with other related problems such as
nausea, headaches, rash, and an hayfever type reaction.  The only way I can
stop the problem is with high does of antihistamine.

I am still not convinced that it is so wonderful.

Bill Sinai
Laboratory Manager
Tissue Pathology, ICPMR
Westmead NSW 2145
Ph 02 9845 7774

-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of peptolab
Sent: Friday, 06 February 2004 9:42 AM
Cc: HistoNet Server
Subject: [Histonet] Xylene or "solvents" a hazard?

Very informative article Vinnie- but only 21 of the 125 exposed women were
histotechs- it would be more useful to know how many of the 13 major and 5
minor malformations, the 17 fetal distress, the 9 premies, the 12
miscarriages (not much more than unexposed- 20% greater risk) , were in
histotechs rather than the 104 persons in industry or other disciplines
presuambly using methyl ethyl ketone, benzene, and who knows what else. This
is not to say that I don't think pregnant techs should be rotated away from
 By the way- I read about the "horrors" of limonene- I  love my limonene,
have for 20+years, and I wonder how many labs use it versus aliphatics?
Never met anyone who had a problem with it and visitors to the lab
(courriers, other techs) love the smell- when you can smell it at all.
Jeff Silverman

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