RE: xylene substitutes revisited

From:"Johnson, Teri"


I totally understand your desire to not have to switch from xylene to a substitute.  If it's not broken, why fix it?  I also understand why your safety officer wants to eliminate it.  It's nasty stuff. 

I've switched everything over to a substitute and have noticed the tissues aren't as dry out of the processor.  One does have to add some time to the stations because the substitutes don't penetrate as quickly as xylene.  I do not like coverslipping out of the substitute, only because it's very humid here and I have difficulty keeping my substitutes and alcohol anhydrous.  The eosin starts to bleed out of the sections, especially worse with frozen sections.  I'm considering switching over to Clearium and have been following that thread closely.

Other than the coverslipping issue, I think it's been a successful switch.  I have to keep a small amount of xylene or toluene around to soak off coverslips, but otherwise have eliminated it from my lab.

This next point is very important:  It'll be much harder to convert a lab whose techs don't buy into the process.  The complaints will be seemingly endless.  And unless you want an all out mutiny, stay away from the limonenes.

Teri Johnson
Manager Histology Core Facility
Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Kansas City, MO 64110

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