RE: block disposal and -heads

<< Previous Message | Next Message >>
From:"Petrilli, Michael" <>
To:'Tim Morken' <>,
Content-Type:text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1 peeve time: here's mine.
We all have to to take so many precautions, yet cities can dump raw sewage
into our lakes and streams. Its so difficult to scoop up a good clean  chunk
of sewage these days!

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Tim Morken []
> Sent:	Sunday, July 02, 2000 7:08 PM
> To:
> Subject:	Re: block disposal and -heads
> John,
> It turns out that most of the problem is one of perception. If people find
> human remains in any form in a public disposal site they go beserk - even
> if 
> there is no harm in it. "Medical waste" has a  bad connotation and people 
> assume the worst - some sort of infectious or harmful material. Some just 
> don't like the idea of disposing of human remains in such a way.
> Here at the CDC we don't use red plastic bags for our autoclaved waste 
> because the local authorities see anything in a red bag as an infectious 
> threat - despite assurances it has been autoclaved. Instead we use clear 
> bags with biohazard markings that turn from red to brown during
> autoclaving. 
> I guess the clear bags don't attract as much attention.
> My pet peeve is that we must dispose of pipet-tip boxes in autoclave
> waste, 
> instead of sending them back to the manufactuer for re-use, because they
> may 
> have been 'infected' during use. No matter that we don't deal with any
> live 
> infectious material in our lab!
> My lesson from all this is that people don't trust the medical/research 
> establishment any more than they do the average business so maximum 
> precautions are prescribed at all times.
> Tim Morken, B.A., EMT(MSA), HTL(ASCP)
> Infectious Disease Pathology
> Centers for Disease Control
> MS-G32
> 1600 Clifton Rd.
> Atlanta, GA 30333
> email:
> Phone: (404) 639-3964
> FAX:  (404)639-3043
> ----Original Message Follows----
> From: "J. A. Kiernan" <>
> To: Histonet <>
> Subject: Re: block disposal and -heads
> Date: Sun, 02 Jul 2000 01:06:43 -0400 (EDT)
> On Sat, 1 Jul 2000, Becky Scholes wrote:
>  > Just as with slides, our local waste system considers paraffin blocks
>  > biohazard waste.
>    How do they justify this? When a person dies with a horrible
>    infectious disease the body is put in a box and planted in the
>    ground to be consumed by worms. A box (or plastic bag) of old
>    paraffin blocks at a landfill site is buried at a similar or
>    greater depth. Each individual block is entombed in wax providing
>    yet another layer of "protection." Furthermore, the tissues
>    were fixed and processed before they ever went into the wax,
>    killing everything except possibly some prions. Objects in the
>    landfill are even less likely to be eaten by people than corpses
>    in the graveyard.
>    It is even more crazy to consider slides hazardous, with every section
>    encapsulated in glass. Even the sarcophagous nematodes aren't going
>    to be able to eat these, however hard they try.
>    Who are the ignorant fools who get away with making such regulations?
>    They must have their bosses, or some chain of command whereby they
>    could be gently and politely influenced: to reverse their rulings or
>    find themselves lining up in the labour exchange for jobs cleaning
>    out public lavatories. ("This job has prospects, lad. If you work
>    hard for three years, we'll give you a brush.")  It should not be
>    necessary to spend public money on expensive disposal of harmless
>    materials that have been declared "biohazardous" by some public
>    servant who is either a half-wit or a director of a hazardous waste
>    collection company. At a local level it should be possible to
>    overcome this problem by approaching senior municipal officials
>    and politicians, and writing letters to local newspapers that name
>    those who made the silly rules and explain the unnecessary costs to
>    the taxpayers.
>    Good luck, and happy campaigning.
>   John A. Kiernan,
>   Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology,
>   The University of Western Ontario,
>   LONDON,  Canada  N6A 5C1
> ________________________________________________________________________
> Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at

<< Previous Message | Next Message >>