Re: xylene substitutes revisited

From:Vinnie Della Speranza

Amos makes really valid points here. Let's not forget that while the hazards of xylene are well documented, the substitutes have not be so thoroughly evaluated. The assumption that they are safe just because your vendor says so is ill advised. When people think that something is safe, they tend to be less careful using it. When you know the hazards, you are better equipped to work around them safely .
Vinnie Della Speranza
Manager for Anatomic Pathology Services
Medical University of South Carolina
165 Ashley Avenue  Suite 309
Charleston, SC 29425
Ph: 843-792-6353
fax: 843-792-8974

>>> Amos Brooks <> 06/26/02 05:50PM >>>
    Proper personal protective equipment (aka decent frequently changed nitrile gloves) should prevent you from absorbing it into your skin. A decent fume hood will keep you from inhaling it. Don't splash it around while transporting it and be as neat as possible while using it. I see no room for ANY exposure. If you respect the chemical and it's hazards then you will innevitably take proper preventative measures. I agree the hazards are nasty, but they are manageable if you are cautious.
My $0.02,
Amos Brooks
----- Original Message -----
From: Linke_Noelle
To: Morken, Tim ;
Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2002 11:42 AM
Subject: RE: xylene substitutes revisited

THIS is why some of us don't want xylenes in our labs.  If you've ever felt dizzy while coverslipping(and don't have the $$ for an automatic coverslipper) or have gone home with headache after headache...  Personally, I have no desire to even come CLOSE to chronic exposure limits, especially when there are multiple options!!!
once again stepping down from soapbox....
Noelle Linke
-----Original Message-----
From: Morken, Tim []
Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2002 7:53 AM
Subject: RE: xylene substitutes revisited

Well, I worked for many years in a lab that used Histo-clear (citrus-based) exclusively and we had no problems with anything, including immunos. So I can't help you in "heading them off at the pass."
On the other hand, I can't see using xylene as a bad thing as long as proper safety precautions are taken. One good one is to use an automated coverslipper so that xylene exposure to skin is greatly limited. Since the critical exposure levels to xylene vapors are quite high, that is not usually a problem. Is there some reason xylene is being phased out?
Of course finding a xylene substitute that is acceptable to everyone in the lab is very tough. It seems there is a problem with all of them in some way, either some can't stand the odor of one or another, or there are sensitivity issues that rival xylene. Good luck!
Tim Morken
-----Original Message-----
From: Noreen Gilman []
Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2002 10:25 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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