RE: Sink the para from paraformaldehyde

From:"Smith, Allen"

Sink the para from paraformaldehyde
    If we are going to be pedantic, the result of adding formaldehyde or paraformaldehyde to water should be called dihydroxymethane or methanediol, since formaldehyde reacts readily (and reversibly) with water.
    In practice, 10% formalin and 4% paraformaldehyde are not quite the same.
    "10% formalin" indicates that the solution was made up from formalin and contains an undetermined quantity of formic acid and  methanol (because formaldehyde spontaneously oxidizes itself ).
    "4% paraformaldehyde" indicates that the solution was made up from paraformaldehyde and contains only water, dihydroxymethane, and about 0.01% formaldehyde

Allen A. Smith, Ph.D.
Barry University
School of Graduate Medical Sciences
    Podiatric Medicine and Surgery
Miami Shores, Florida  33161-6695

-----Original Message-----
From: Tony Henwood []
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 5:02 PM
To: ''
Subject: Sink the para from paraformaldehyde

Hi all,

I've noticed too many histonet postings using the term "4% paraformaldehyde".

Could I recommend that we remove the para from 4% paraformaldehyde solutions.

Paraformaldehyde is a powder.

In solution it becomes formaldehyde.

Tony Henwood JP, BappSc, GradDipSysAnalys, CT(ASC)
Laboratory Manager
The Children's Hospital at  Westmead,
Locked Bag 4001, Westmead, 2145, AUSTRALIA.
Tel: (02) 9845 3306
Fax: (02) 9845 3318

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