RE: [Histonet] 37% formaldehyde & the UK & Europe


Concerning Formaldehyde & Formalin.. I would like to hear from our colleagues from around the world concerning the terminology and meaning of the differences between Formaldehyde and Formalin. I was always under the assumption that Formaldehyde was a gas "put" into water at it's highest concentration
of 37 - 40 %. This 37-40% Formaldehyde when it is diluted with water then becomes or receives the terminology called Formalin whether it is 10 %, 20% etc... I am over in the UK and have been having some controversy with my colleagues here in that they want to use "concentrated formalin" for a particular procedure. If I take the formaldehyde purchased from my vendor and make up what I call a concentrated solution ( 37% solution), I will have 37% formalin, not the same thing. I feel that is confusing especially for those of us across the ocean, because I will want to ask How concentrated? If I hear the word formaldehyde, then I think of the 37-40% that we use to make up our 10% NBF and I associate that in my mind as concentrate.  I especially would like to hear from those in other countries across the world. I even looked at a bottle of Formaldehyde that they have and it says Formaldehyde (formalin). I'm going to search some texts and talk to some chemists just because I want to be saying the correct thing without confusing everyone when it comes to the procedure being done.
Thanks !
Mark Lewis

	-----Original Message----- 
	From: on behalf of Linda Blazek 
	Sent: Thu 2/3/2005 3:07 PM 
	Subject: RE: [Histonet] 37% formaldehyde

	It's probably a good thing I wasn't here to deal with it last night.
	Sometimes my mouth can get me in trouble.  I would have loved to give
	him the gas.
	>>> "Stapf, Ross"  02/03/2005 3:04:45 PM >>>
	So he wanted a pure formaldehyde gas?
	I wish you had some around to give him.  :)
	Ah the confusion between formaldehyde, formalin, and 10% NBF.
	It can make for some great "Who's on first" type moments.
	Ross M Stapf
	Histopathology Manager
	Baylor University Medical Center
	3500 Gaston Ave.
	Dallas, TX 75246
	214-820-4110 fax
	-----Original Message-----
	[] On Behalf Of Linda
	Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2005 1:53 PM
	Subject: RE: [Histonet] 37% formaldehyde
	There isn't any mistake about what he wanted.  One of our techs was
	late last night because one of our more "cranky" surgeons was doing a
	procedure in OR.  He called to the lab for "formaldehyde".  He was
	formalin.  He preceded to yell (very loudly) that he did not want
	formalin he wanted "formaldehyde".
	>>> "Connolly, Brett M"  2/3/2005 2:40:22 PM
	I think Geoff hit the nail on the head. The surgeon doesn't realize or
	remember that 'formalin' is supposed to be 3.7%. I feel bad for the
	-----Original Message-----
	[] On Behalf Of Linda
	Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2005 1:48 PM
	Subject: [Histonet] 37% formaldehyde
	Does anyone know why a surgeon would want to send a liver biopsy
	specimen in 37% formaldehyde?  Is there some test or procedure that
	would ever want to put a specimen in 37%? Thanks
	Linda  Blazek, HT (ASCP)
	Department of Pathology
	Children's Medical Center
	Dayton, Ohio  45404
	(937) 641-3358
	fax (937)641-5482
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