Re: Formalin substitutes
|From:||Vinnie Della Speranza |
you didn't mention why your safety officer wants you to get rid of
formalin. Unfortunately formaldehyde has become a popular target of safety
officers. who frequently do not understand the implications for removing it from
however, have you had violations of the formaldehyde standard at your
excessive exposures to formaldehyde vapors?
spills that resulted in interruption of work in the lab or OR as well as
employees who've become ill or sensitized?
if so, these are serious matters that require engineering or workpractice
if such things have not prompted your safety officer's concern,
consider te following:
virtually all tissue lesions have been described in the pathology
literature from tissues that had been fixed in formalin. Substitutes may lead to
altered histologic appearance that leaves some pathologists uncomfortable with
the notion of using something other than formalin. Enlist your pathologists in
this discussion at your facility. If they feel that they could misdiagnose
something because of an altered microscopic appearance, this has to weigh
heavily in the final decision.
alson any formalin substitutes will still need to be disposed of as
hazardous chemical waste in your facility, which not eliminates any cost savings
for disposal but many times the substitute costs more than formalin to begin
with. Fixatives are by design toxic substances intended to kill cells and
microorganisms. I worry that a formalin substitute might lead some, like nursing
personnel, to become less careful or vigilant in exercising proper care when
working with the material by believing that the substitute is "safe". No
fixative is safe is used improperly.
good luck and keep us informed of how things develop.
Vinnie Della Speranza
Manager for Anatomic Pathology Services
University of South Carolina
165 Ashley Avenue Suite 309
Hannen <email@example.com> 05/29/02 11:21PM >>>
It's me again. We currently use zinc
formalin. Our safety officer wants us to check into formalin substitutes. My
problem is that our IHC procedure (Kit from manufacturer)
says to use only formalin, or zinc formalin for
Any input would be greatly
and no we don't want to change our IHC
Thanks a lot!!!!
Parrish Medical Center
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