RE: Safety of employees handling paraffin embedded tissue.

From:conmac <>

I don't use gloves when sectioning the regular stuff.  I do only when we have 
a prion disease project such as Chronic Wasting Disease or scrapie.  As for 
Hepatitis C... I work with Hepatitis B infected mice and have never had any 
problem.  10% formalin kills hepatitis viruses and the alcohols in the 
processing will add a second measure of protection (heptitis viruses are 
easily killed with 70% ETOH) and so long as there is no place within the 
tissue that was NOT fixed/processed, I can't imagine there would be anything 
infectious for a histotech to worry about.  Did this girl cut her finger while 
cutting this tissue?  I HAVE heard of one histologist getting hepatitis (don't 
recall which strain) while cutting some poorly fixed/processed tissues. 
Apparently the tissues was pretty gooey in the block.   She cut herself and 
that was that, but the key words are "poorly fixed/processed tissues."

Connie McManus

>===== Original Message From "Bartlett, Jeanine" <> =====
>I do not use gloves when embedding or sectioning, but most of the other
>techs in my lab do.  With the sectioning I was told it was more to keep
>cornified cells from making their way onto the slides or into the water bath
>than for safety reasons.  I have not heard of anyone contracting an illness
>from not wearing gloves while embedding or sectioning.
>Jeanine Bartlett, HT(ASCP)
>Centers for Disease Control
>Infectious Disease Pathology Activity
>Atlanta, GA  30333
>-----Original Message-----
>From: []
>Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 11:18 PM
>Subject: Safety of employees handling paraffin embedded tissue.
>I have recently heard of a previous employee of a pathology laboratory suing
>for being exposed to and contracting Hepatitis C from handling the paraffin
>blocks.  I have never seen anybody wearing gloves during the embedding and
>microtomy of properly fixed tissue sections.  Has anybody else heard of any
>similar circumstances and if so, should we all wear gloves during embedding
>and sectioning.  I know if I tried to cut tissue sections with gloves on, I
>may not be exposed to Hepatitis C, but I would probably be looking for

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