RE: [Histonet] RE: Xylene Substitutes[Scanned]

From:"Rittman, Barry R"

I must in general agree with Chuck. I have not used any clearing agents
that I consider to be as good as xylenes.

I think that we are now in an era where the pendulum has swung away from
an almost total disregard for the use of chemicals to an era where we
are sometimes overly cautious. This is not just with chemicals but many
aspects in life.
While it is critical to be very careful in the use of all chemicals and
various practices (in the lab and at home)there is a point beyond which
we would never work in a lab in case we absorbed some chemical or even
leave the house in case we might get hit by a falling piece from an
When training in a lab we were taught to be aware of potential dangers
from chemicals, equipment and especially trainees. Safe practices should
not only be confined to the lab but should be a way of life for us all.
After all we are exposed to enough pollution without our adding to it.
If you cut your grass are you careful about not breathing exhaust fumes
or getting gasoline on your hands? It seems at times as if we are trying
to eliminate nature including us).  
Does this mean that we should not be using chemicals to clean ovens, to
scrub sinks or to bleach clothes? I suggest that there is an acceptable
limit to all these substances and practices but in order be realistic we
always make ourselves fully aware of possible consequences of use. 
I make such decisions every day that I drive in Houston.

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Sent: Monday, June 20, 2005 8:24 AM
To: Rogerson Kemlo (ELHT) Pathology
Subject: RE: [Histonet] RE: Xylene Substitutes[Scanned]

Kemlo,  There is an acceptable limit to water ingestion.  If you go past
that it becomes toxic and even fatal.  Sorry, I'm not going to stop
drinking water just because at some point it becomes toxic.  Many of
these "warnings" in the lab boil down to junk science.  I just can't
take the "Henny Penny" approach to things and run around screaming "The
sky is falling, the sky is falling".  (My apologies to those that don't
understand this analogy).  Relax a little, life can be

Chuck Embrey  

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Rogerson
Kemlo (ELHT) Pathology
Sent: Monday, June 20, 2005 1:45 AM
To: Barbara Stancel;
Subject: RE: [Histonet] RE: Xylene Substitutes[Scanned]

Acceptable limit????? Define an acceptable limit! There is no acceptable
limit as far as I know, all exposure brings with it danger, but I
concede there is a limit beneath which that danger is acceptable. But
what are the unacceptable elements of this acceptability? Only 1 in a
1,000 women has a spontaneous abortions and I suppose that may be

Complete removal and replacement or extraction that results in zero
exposure is acceptable, isn't it?

-----Original Message-----
From: Barbara Stancel [] 
Sent: 18 June 2005 20:03
Subject: [Histonet] RE: Xylene Substitutes[Scanned]

I'm with Charles.

We have been using xylene for 31 years. We have tried the xylene 
substitutes, but we and our pathologist prefer xylene. We recycle all
xylene to reduce cost of purchasing and cut hazardous waste. We have
ventilation in the lab. Our twice-a-year STEL monitoring has come back
way below the acceptable limits.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Barbara Stancel
USDA, FSIS, OPHS, EL, Pathology
Athens, Georgia

-----Original Message-----
From: Charles.Embrey
Sent: Friday, June 17, 2005 1:40 PM
To: 'Joyce Cline'
Subject: RE: [Histonet] Xylene substitutes

Your quote "They all realize how bad Xylene is". Just how bad IS xylene?
I have been using it for 25 years and am still alive and kicking.  We
recycle ours so we don't even have an environmental issue to deal with.
I have never used any substitute that worked as well or better than
xylene itself.  Many claim to be almost as good as xylene and that is
about as close as any get.  As for me, I am sticking with what works.

Charles Embrey PA(ASCP)

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Joyce
Sent: Friday, June 17, 2005 12:05 PM
To: 'Histonet'
Subject: [Histonet] Xylene substitutes

I use Clear-rite 3 and our pathologists have no problem with it. They
all realize how bad Xylene is. I use H-2 Blue beads to help eliminate
the water from our high humidity.

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