Re: reference for CJD - sodium hydroxide

Thanks to LuAnn Anderson in Neuropathology at the University of Minnesota for 
clarifying the precautions used in a large specialty laboratory in handling 
tissue from prion diseases.

What concerns me is the extension of these precautions to less specialized 
laboratories. Most of the pathology services I work in are very ill equipped, 
both in terms of technical expertise or equipment, to handle either 
infectious material or hazardous materials. (For example, in most of the 
services I work in, I have to handle both formaldehyde and aromatic solvents 
in areas with little or no ventilation. The various inspectors look the other 
way, or are too ignorant to look at all.)

I spend a lot of time trying to talk to people on these services about very 
elementary chemical and biological hygiene issues, usually with no effect at 
all. (That's the way they've always done it, after all.) So I am very 
cautious about suggesting introducing additional hazardous materials into 
work places that cannot handle them safely.

I strongly suspect that the eventual outcome of all this is that small 
hospital histopathology services will become impractical. I'm glad I won't be 
around to see it happen.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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