Xylene does smell nice!

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From:Linda Jenkins <jlinda@ces.clemson.edu>
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Dear Peter,
	You don't know how relieved I am that you made the comment about
xylene smelling nice.  It's nice to know there is one more out there who
shares my fondness for that particular aroma.  Acetone is another personal
favorite.  One of the reasons I went into histology MANY years ago was
because I liked the way that part of the lab smelled.   Guess that's why
xylene is called an "aromatic" hydrocarbon;  the histologists' own personal
brand of aromatherapy!  Now, before the "safety patrol" comes after me - I
haven't allowed those intoxicating smells in my lab in many years.  Just
	Actually, as a safety note, it doesn't pay to keep  chemicals
without the proper signage on them.  We had been using Fisher's " Aerosol
OT"  solution (butyl cellosolve) in the water bath as a surfactant.  Once
again, this particular chemical had an almost hypnotically sweet aroma -
intensified by the warm waterbath.  Didn't need to use but a capful per day
so the bottle lasted and lasted, etc. (early '80's).  Nothing on the label,
no MSDS.  Finally, one day we ordered a new bottle(1991).  WOW - you should
have seen the new label on this bottle.  Among the items that caught my
attention were phrases such as:  IMMEDIATELY dangerous to life or health,
causes hemolytic anemia, narcosis, kidney or liver failure and brain
damage, and involuntary movement of the eyeball.  Needless to say, we
promptly changed our waterbath protocol.
PS - Always thought the citrus-based, xylene subtiutes smelled like a
Florida orange grove "gone bad"!
Linda Jenkins, HT
Clemson University
Department of Bioengineering

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