Re: Caveats on GMA Block Trimming

From:Karen Pawlowski <>

I made a vacuum set up with a bong like flask arrangement in between the
suction hose and the vacuum to collect the dust in water, then replaced
the water regularly.  The tube from the suction hose does not actually 
touch the water, it just comes in close proximity to it. (I know by 
experience that if the hose touches the water, the end gets clogged with
wet GMMA.)  Then at the top of the flask, there is and out let 
connection to the vacuum, well away from the water, hose interface. It 
works great for cleaning the work area too.  

Disclaimer:  In my younger days, many years ago, I did attend parties 
where bongs were in use, but I never inhaled :)

Karen Pawlowski, Ph.D.

Gayle Callis wrote:
> A word of caution here, any GMA dust particles should NOT come into contact
> with wet mucosal surfaces, ie nasal passages, eyes.  I know several people
> who cannot be in the same room as GMA components or they react terribly to
> this sensitizing plastic.  Some people are lucky and not sensitive, but
> don't take the chance - I know more who are sensitive to GMA than those who
> are not.  They literally cannot work with it.  Also the horror story of a
> section flying into technicians eye, so wear safety glasses and face masks.
> If you have a mini-vacuum sitting in front your grinding area, you could
> keep trimmings constantly cleaned up while you grind away, you cannot grind
> GMA with water as you can PMMA, plastic will not tolerate softening by water.
> Gayle Callis
> Histopathology Supervisor
> Veterinary Molecular Biology
> Montana State University - Bozeman
> Bozeman MT 59717-3610
> 406 994-6367
> 404 994-4303 (FAX)

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