Samurai brings up a good point about fumes

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From:Gayle Callis <>
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At the risk of beating an old subject to death

Bob Richmond's  message made excellent points, and kids aren't the only one
"sniffing the glues".  We do it everyday in our households, rotten orange
grove smelling sprays, fingernail polish (for us glamour types), glues and
methacrylates to put those falsie fingernails on, paints, and most
frightening of all is paint stores, selling xylol!  If there has been one
thing learned out of all the safety precautions in histo lab, it is take
your lessons HOME! You actually may be safer in your labs with hoods, etc
than you are staining the deck or painting the loo, visiting the

All laboratory personnel MUST read Material Safety Data Sheets on solvents,
even the single aliphatic hydrocarbons, Propar and Clearite 3.  Odor free
does not mean safe, there are precautions, and they should be followed. 

Case in point - HOW many of you make your employee READ the MSDS???
They have the right to know, and should be handed those MSDS upon hiring
for reading and be made to understand and handle the stuff properly. It is
YOUR responsibility to DO THIS or if you are alone, be informed and not

Have a good weekend, hmmmmm, thinking about a manicure, but just thinking!

>'Tain't funny! Aromatic solvents, particularly toluene, are widely used by 
>kids who inhale solvent fumes to get high ("huffing").
>Like skateboarding, this hazardous behavior rarely persists beyond the age
>14. But in my travels I've encountered one older histologist, pretty crazy I 
>thought, who took the waste xylene home, and I think she huffed it (she's 
>dead now). 
>Aromatic hydrocarbons (benzene, toluene, xylene) are strongly suspected of 
>causing myelocytic leukemia (information about the incidence of these 
>diseases in histologists is badly needed). If you can smell them in a 
>histology lab, the ventilation is inadequate.
>Several people on this list have recently noted sensitization to the
>class of xylene substitutes (HistoClear, AmeriClear, Hemodeedee and what
>you). I didn't know how common the problem is, but I'm not surprised.
>I suppose that the odorless aliphatic solvents (ProPar, Clear-Rite 3, and 
>several others) get around all of these problems.
>Aliphatics are expensive, but they can be about 85% recovered by 
>distillation, if you can keep pathologists and managers from having 
>hissy-fits about your running a still in the lab (frequent problem in small 
>labs). It's important to know that every brand has a different distillation 
>routine, and you must not mix them in the still. Management has to
>in advance that they cannot switch brands on you just because the salesman 
>for Cheapo-Kleer suddenly offers a ten cent a gallon price break.
>Bob Richmond
>Samurai Pathologist
>Knoxville TN 
Gayle Callis
Veterinary Molecular Biology
Montana State University
Bozeman MT 59717-3610
406 994-4705
406 994-4303

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