Re: Shandon's Glyo-Fixx, and Eco/Green Issues

From:=?iso-8859-1?q?Steve=20Machin=20UK?= <>

--- Stephanie Rodriguez <>
wrote: > Hi Histobuddies!
> Has anyone out there used Shandon's formalin
> substitute, Glyo-Fixx.  I know
> it's glyoxal, and supposed to be comparable in
> quality.  Is it?  Also, has
> anyone used their xylene substitute, Histo-Solve? 
> We are starting a new
> histology lab, and hoping to use as many eco- and
> tech-health-friendly
> alternatives as possible.  Any input is welcomed.

Steve Machin UK reply:

There a quite a few concideration when selecting Green
and safe substances.

What is the "Green" cost of manufacture, use and
We use d-limonene as a xylene substitute for dewaxing
and clearing slides but not for processing or the
final xylene before mounting.  Processing is too slow
and the staining fades.
d-limonene is a by-product from some types of orange
peel so it could be concidered a renewable resource.  
It is much less flammable then xylene but can cause
skin irritation, as it does in me, but I get around
this problem by using nitrile gloves as opposed to the
standard latex ones.   Where we work we can pour
d-limonene down the sink but I should check your local
regulations before you do it.  There is an
environmental issue here because although it is
biodegradable its breakdown by microorganisms requires
oxygen and is a burden on the water treatment plants.
If you compare what we have to go through with xylene
production, use and disposal I think this substitute
is worth using where it can be.

I'm sure that most workers are now using mercury free
haematoxylin now but if you are not then then there
are plenty of alternatives.

If you have the power to infulence the design of the
new lab then perhaps you could think about the amount
of heat wasted through exhaust ventilation systems
such as downflow benches, fume cupboards and safety
cabinets.  All the air drawn through these is wasted
along with the energy used to heat or cool it. 
Systems are available to recover this energy from the
exhaust air then this energy can be used to condition
the air input into the room.  The costs of this wasted
energy is huge.

Disposal versus reusable materials is another
debatable topic.  I'd love to here what views others
have on the comparative costs.

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