RE: Using Mineral Oil instead of Xylene in processing tissue

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From:"Smith, Allen" <>
To:"'J. A. Kiernan'" <>
Content-Type:text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1

At the time Ralph Lillie was writing, automotive gasoline contained
tetraethyl lead, aviation gasoline did not.  Tetraethyl lead is violently
poisonous both by inhalation and by skin absorption.  One subsidiary
blessing of the removal of tetraethyl lead from all gasoline is that
automotive gasoline can now be used for camp stoves, backyard dry cleaning,
or as a paraffin solvent.  Unleaded gasoline is slightly toxic, so it should
be used outdoors or in a fume hood.  If you plan to get very much of it on
your hands, use neoprene gloves to protect your skin.  It also catches fire
very easily.
			Allen A. Smith
			Barry University School of Graduate Medical Sciences
			Miami Shores, Florida
-----Original Message-----
From: J. A. Kiernan []
Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2000 12:22 AM
To: Mary Stevens
Subject: Re: Using Mineral Oil instead of Xylene in processing tissue

On Mon, 10 Jul 2000, Mary Stevens wrote:

> There was a paper in 1992 - Vegetable Oils instead of Xylene in Tissue
Processing", APMIS 100:827-83l which may make interesting reading for those
of you interested in making the transition to oils. 
> Mary

  Thanks very much. I'll look it up. Veggie oils are a bit like the
  thicker mineral ones: mix with xylene or wax or higher alcohols,
  but not (or not completely) with ethanol. Lillie's big book notes
  the use of gasolene as a clearing agent in wartime. It had to be
  fuel for aeroplanes (not cars) for some reason - perhaps alcohol
  miscibility. (Sorry, haven't got the book to hand right now.) 

  Essential oils, which do mix with ethanol, were used in the days
  when it was impossible for a simple scientist to obtain ethyl
  alcohol better than 95%. Some of the essential oils can carry
  a specimen from 85% or so to paraffin wax. Cedarwood oil was and
  still is generally considered the best. I think terpineol (synthetic
  oil of lilac) is just as good and it's less expensive. 

 John A. Kiernan,
 Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology,
 The University of Western Ontario,
 LONDON,  Canada  N6A 5C1


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