[Histonet] xylene substitutes vs limonene

From:Gayle Callis

In my lab we consider them safer but one must still adhere to safety in
handling, MSDS will give information or talk to technical services at
companies who sell them if MSDS is too brief - I am not sure the whole
answer about safety of xylene subtitutes (single aliphatic hydrocarbons) is
totally known - this is the impression I get from answers given over the
years on Histonet.  We do use them, happily and with good results. 

People can become very sensitive to limonene compounds.  I met one lady so
allergic to them, she passed out when she smelled them.  I turn a rather
sickly shade of green and totally nauseous.  The fact that people get sick
(Bob Schoonhoven reply this week) when around these stinky, foul smelling
(my candid opinion!) substitutes is the one reason they are banned from our
laboratory.  If they make you sick, then are they safe?  I would think the
answer would be - NO!  

Since they are found in some "grease cutting" household cleaning products,
labels are examined and I have been known to open containers to detect
odorous presence of limonene.  Buyer beware! 


Gayle Callis
Research Histopathology Supervisor
Veterinary Molecular Biology 
Montana State University - Bozeman
PO Box 173610
Bozeman MT 59717-3610
406 994-6367 (lab with voice mail)
406 994-4303 (FAX)

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