Re: xylene substitutes revisited


you must also take into consideration the humidity in Ft. Lauderdale.  Xylene can handle exposure to some water without breaking down.   Xylene substitutes often do not have the capability to absorb water.  Here in San Antonio, especially this time of year, we have a high humidity level in the lab even though we have good temperature control.  When I tried to use a xylene substitute, we had to add extra dishes and longer times to our staining because the paraffin wasn't dissolving completely.  This reeked havoc with our immunos.
    I monitor the exposure limits every six months.  We have never registered over 10 ppm over an 8 hour time (OSHA's current limit is 100 ppm).  I've purchased nitrile gloves that do not break down as fast when handling xylene (we don't have an automatic coverslipper.  My techs think that I'm the automatic coverslipper).
    Every tech that I have hired, I gave them the MSDS book and told them to look specifically at xylene, formalin and glacial acetic acid and to tell me if they have a problem with any of these chemicals.  So far, everyone is okay with it.
Joe Nocito, BS, HT (ASCP) QIHC
Histology Manager
Pathology Reference Lab
San Antonio, Texas
----- Original Message -----
From: Noreen Gilman
Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2002 9:24 AM
Subject: xylene substitutes revisited

Good morning everyone. Our safety committee is all set to switch us to a xylene substitute. In order to head them off at the pass, I'd like any info you kind people can provide concerning the impact xylene sub's would have on IPX as well as on routine tissue preparation; processing, staining, special stains, well you know, the whole nine yards!
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this email....
Noreen Gilman, B.S., H.T.(ASCP) CLS
Histopathology Supervisor
Broward General Medical Center
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316
954.355.5592 Phone
954.355.4139 Fax
954-387-0213 Pager

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