Formalin in specimen waste
|From:||ANATECH LTD <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
A little math will show that histological specimen waste contains far
more than 100 ppm formaldehyde.
A specimen that has been reasonably well fixed will have had its free
water completely replaced by the fixative. Assume for the moment
that the specimen was 100% water. It now is 10% formalin, which
contains 3.7 % formaldehyde, which is 37,000 ppm formaldehyde.
Obviously, the specimen is not 100% water. Most living tissue is at
leat 50% water, so such a specimen would contain 18,500 ppm
If the specimen contained only 1% water, the formaldehyde content
would be 3,700 ppm, still way over the 100 ppm limit.
You could wash the formalin out of the specimen with water, but now
you have a huge volume of hazardous waste liquid, so nothing has been
When faced with this dilemma, it is time to consider a formalin
substitute that is more environmentally acceptable. These are
available from a number of vendors.
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