RE: Formalin substitutes.... (again!)

From:"Morken, Tim" <>

I'm not sure why formalin has gotten to be such a hassle to deal with.
Ignorant people maybe? The greatest threat in dealing with formalin is vapor
inhalation by those who make it up from scratch, those who do grossing, and
those who change reagents in tissue processors. To all those who merely open
a container and plop a specimen in it is of no concern at all! The exposure
regulations concern extensive exposure -either a 15 minute heavy exposure or
a low-level long-term exposure. Neither of which apply to casual users in
OR's or clinics. Spills are only slightly more of a concern but even then
exposure is minimal (and a one-time exposure is inconsequential in the
quantites and dilutions we deal with). Getting the Risk Management people
involved and getting the undisputed facts in front of people may help. You
might point out that they are far more likely to get sick from hospital
infections than have any adverse health effects from formalin exposure.

Tim Morken, BA, EMT(MSA), HTL(ASCP)
Infectious Disease Pathology Activity
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30333

PH: 404-639-3964
FAX: 404-639-3043


-----Original Message-----
From: Tom T. McNemar []
Sent: Wednesday, November 01, 2000 9:13 AM
To: Pam Gutierrez; Tom T. McNemar
Cc: Histonet (E-mail)
Subject: RE: Formalin substitutes.... (again!)

I was really hoping to go the other way around..... I would prefer to get
rid of formalin altogether but that is unlikely.  I would rather be able to
give the substitute out to the offices and other sites and keep the formalin
in the lab.  Formalin is such a hassle.  The offices and even some sites in
the hospital are just sure that formalin is an instant killer. Training in
formalin precautions is an ongoing process but it seems like I am
continually providing MSD sheets, explaining, etc.

Tom Mc Nemar, HT(ASCP)
Pathology Supervisor
Licking Memorial Hospital
Newark, Ohio

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Pam Gutierrez []
> Sent:	Tuesday, October 31, 2000 1:58 PM
> To:	Tom T. McNemar
> Cc:	Histonet (E-mail)
> Subject:	Re: Formalin substitutes.... (again!)
>  We have been using Histochoice for years in our processors and are
> extremely
> pleased. We once tried to discontinue the use of formalin altogether but
> were
> displeased with the appearance of the gross tissue (grey and necrotic
> looking)
> and found that small biopsies, gastric as well as gynecologic specimens
> were not
> adequate for microscopic evaluation.  We returned to using formalin for
> specimen
> collection and initial fixation.  The secondary fixation with Histochoice
> in the
> processing stage (we add 1 gal. of reagent alc. to 4 gal of prepared
> Histochoice) has proven to be fast acting and less hazardous to the techs
> changing the reagents on the processor.  Our H&E's as well as special
> stains and
> immuno's are beautiful.
> "Tom T. McNemar" wrote:
> > Is anyone using Histochoice?  How about Excel?  If you are, have you had
> any
> > problems with IHC, receptors, or flow?  Thanks in advance.
> >
> > Tom Mc Nemar, HT(ASCP)
> > Pathology Supervisor
> > Licking Memorial Hospital
> > Newark, Ohio

<< Previous Message | Next Message >>