Re: Is denatured Ethanol useful in histology?

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From:Mick Rentsch <> (by way of histonet)
To:histonet <>
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Dear Noelle,
I apologise for the lateness of my reply, I took a week off to go to the
beach and instead watched numerous planes and helicopters scouring the area
offshore for missing competitors in the Sydney/Hobart race.
we have used denatured anhydrous alcohol for nearly twenty years and have
substituted it in all procedures and recipes including processing without
any ill effects. Having said this, a word of caution, the denaturant in the
formula we use is MEK or Methyl Ethyl Ketone with about 2% Methanol, it also
contains a proprietery known as "Bitrene" which is an additive that tastes
incredibly bitter so you can't drink it. (Also used in toilet blocks etc. to
stop children from eating them); there are many form s of denatured alcohol
and a list of these may be found in the Merck Index and form part of the
regs. in the USA.
One of our net colleagues made mention of not using Methanol denatured
alcohol, and they are quite correct for absolute Methanol, when less than
10% Methanol is present there appears to be no problem for eosin binding
(you may recall that Methanol is in fact added to PAP E.A.50 and keratinised
cells have no problem taking up the Eosin)
Here in Australia, the only advantage for using denatured alcohol (or
100IMS) is that the user is not required to hold a Customs Excise
Permit/Licence, and no fully documented records have to be kept with respect
to useage or by whom and what for. So if record keeping is not your forte
and you have no wish to go through the hassle of Customs Officials going
through and auditing you then use denatured. There is no price advantage
whatsoever. All other forms of regulation that apply to Ethanol such as
storage, quantities, vessels etc. are the same.
-----Original Message-----
From: Patterson, Noelle <PattersonN@NMRIPO.NMRI.NNMC.NAVY.MIL>
To: Histonet <>
Date: Friday, 1 January 1999 3:17
Subject: Is denatured Ethanol useful in histology?

>Hello Histonetters,
>A basic question for those few of you stuck at work today.  We have come
>across a bunch of denatured ethanol in an "abandoned" lab (from our  rif -
>reduction in force- tide).  Can I use this ethanol in dehydration steps
>during  the hematoxylin counterstaining of immunohistochemistry slides?  We
>have always used it for molecular, but it will take us ages to use up in
>these procedures.  I would love to hear your opinion on this.  (please
>direct if you get this message in multiples!)
>I hope this doesn't repeat too much.  But, in case it does ...
>Happy New Year!  May 1999 bring you many good blessings!
>(It is snowing here!  The typical light dusting Washington, D.C. is known
>for.  Just enough to make driving hell - we are not "experienced" snow
>drivers- but not enough to actually play in)
>Noelle Patterson
>Naval Medical Research Center
>Bethesda, Md

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