Re: Disposal of paraffin blocks

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Cathy De Viney asks:

>>How do you dispose of your old paraffin blocks? Regular trash or
biohazardous trash?<<

I've never seen anyone address this issue, but I would regard them as
biohazardous trash.

First, at least theoretically, some etiologic agents (such as prions, the
supposed Jakob-Creutzfeldt agent) can survive in them.

Second, because they should be disposed of - preferably incinerated - where
nobody can get at them. They're the sort of thing kids will retrieve out of a
Dumpster and play with (I did worse things myself when I was a kid!)

I'm not sure that anyone should be disposing of paraffin blocks these days,
with the rapidly expanding use of molecular techniques in pathology.

>>Answers need not clutter this list.<< This topic very much belongs on this
open list.

>>am asking this question on behalf of our histotechs, because they do not
have access to the internet<< Appalling but true - in most of the little
hospitals I work in, it's a major achievement just to get the histotechs a
copy of Freida Carson's book. Only the suits and their dressed-for-success
secretaries have Internet access. And it doesn't look like that's going to
change in my remaining years in pathology.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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