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From:Mick Rentsch <> (by way of histonet)
To:histonet <>
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Dear Sandy,
here in Oz land, bunsen burners are frowned upon, and in Histo and Micro
both, you won't find a lab anywhere still using one; mainly for OHS reasons
and the risks assoc. with solvent and/or gas explosion.
In general we prefer all our equipment (even fridges) to be Flash-proof, and
while it isn't law it is common sense, and failure by an employer or
supervisor to implement accepted safety protocols could represent liability,
particularly if in the event of an accident it could be shown there was
prior knowledge.
But like they say, ignorance is no defence in the eyes of the law, and
certainly won't bring back to life any lost colleagues.
Ban all sources of ignition!!
I used to be quite horrified, when I first started in Histo and watched my
supervisor celloidinising sections beside the open window, with a lit pipe
hanging out of his mouth and ash falling in all directions. I've even
witnessed an ether fire caused by a surgeon (again with pipe in mouth)
walking into the biochem lab while we were evaporating Oestriols over
Bauxite- we all watched hopelessly as the sheet of flame rose from the floor
and I lost my eyebrows and got frizziled hair.
Just because lab explosions are a rare occurence today, why take the risk?
regards Mike Rentsch (Downunder)
-----Original Message-----
To: <>
Date: Tuesday, 10 November 1998 10:17

>Histology comrades,
> I am "the new guy" to the lab and am concerned about the
>following possible safety issues...
>-Open flame. (bunsen burner)  I personally haven't used an open flame for
>embedding since       1984...  If find several forceps in the heated
>wells quite adequate.  We've already had one          flaming garbage can
>(that was hidden from the lab manager) and singed log sheets...
>-Glove-less frozen sections - Currently one other tech (also new) and
>myself are the only ones    to use gloves while cutting a frozen section.
> The other 5 techs use their bare-naked hands.
>-Glove-less coverslipping - Again the new tech and myself are the only
>ones to use gloves.
>Don't want to be a "tattle-tale" to the lab manager and I have brought it
>up to the "Team", but no one seems concerned except me.  Any
>You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
>Get completely free e-mail from Juno at
>or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]

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