Formalin and the Law

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From:greg tesdall <>
Date:Thu, 11 Mar 1999 08:44:19 -0800 (PST)
Content-Type:text/plain; charset=us-ascii

Hi folks.   Background:  Here in central Nebraska we have numerous 
satellite clinics in small surrounding communities that are affiliated
with our Hospital.  Each clinic keeps two 15ml. prefilled containers
of 10% formalin in a drawer for that occasional specimen that is sent
to our Lab.  This happens maybe once a month and the clinics are open
about 3 days a week.  Our Hospital Safety Officer, while visiting
these clinics informed the staff that they would need respirators and
spill kits because they have formaldehyde on site.  The staff thinks
this is ridicules since 3 or 4 people assist there and would need
fitting at a significant cost. After all, as they tell me,  about once
a month they are just twisting off the lid of this 15ml.  container,
dropping in the bx.  replacing the lid and sending it off  to the Lab.  
Question:  What is the rule.  What can they do and what guidelines in
writing can they produce that will cover them concerning this usage of
formalin without going to extremes so lacking in common sense.  They
do have copied MSDS sheets.  Thanks.

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