RE: [Histonet] Is it Formalin-Without Smelling It?

From:"Tony Henwood"

An easily and rapidly applied technique can establish the presence or
absence of formalin without placing the investigating staff in harm's

Place a few drops of reticulin diamine silver solution in a beaker and
add small drops of the test solution. If the test solution is formalin,
the reticulin solution will turn black. A similar effect can be produced
by adding the test solution to Schiff's reagent. In this case, adding
drops of formalin will turn the combination a deep magenta colour. The
addition of a test solution of saline (the most frequently encountered
alternative) will produce no colour change to Schiff's solution but will
turn the silver diamine solution white. Because all laboratories will
have both reagents already prepared on their shelves, the test may be
done in a matter of seconds (Grehan & McDermont (2001) J Clin Pathol


Tony Henwood JP, MSc, BAppSc, GradDipSysAnalys, CT(ASC)
Laboratory Manager & Senior Scientist
Tel: 612 9845 3306
Fax: 612 9845 3318
the children's hospital at westmead 
Cnr Hawkesbury Road and Hainsworth Street, Westmead 
Locked Bag 4001, Westmead NSW 2145, AUSTRALIA 

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Smith
Sent: Saturday, 8 November 2008 5:31 AM
Subject: [Histonet] Is it Formalin-Without Smelling It?

Happy Friday Everyone!!!!!
Silly question:  Is there an easy way to tell if a solution in a
container is/is not formalin without smelling it????? Thanks, Wanda

Pathology Supervisor
9330 Medical Plaza Drive
Charleston, SC  29406
843-847-4296 fax

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