Re: Disposal of Used Paraffin (Long)
(a),(b) and (c) are all excellent reasons not to make candles out of used
paraffin, but there is also (d) used paraffin contains chloroform or
whatever clearing agent is used. I used to make candles as you describe (oil
red O was particularly pretty). But then we noticed that as they burned, the
room filled with the smell of chloroform, so I stopped. One could make
Christmas tree ornaments instead, or one could just throw the wax away, as
> From: "J. A. Kiernan"
> Date: Fri, 07 Sep 2001 12:41:34 -0400 (EDT)
> To: Laurie Colbert
> Cc: Histonet
> Subject: Re: Disposal of Used Paraffin (Long)
> On Wed, 5 Sep 2001, Laurie Colbert wrote:
>> I'm interested to know what everyone does with their dirty paraffin from
>> the tissue processors. Do you throw it out in the regular trash or do
>> you have a hazardous waste company pick it up?
> In my lab we process everything by hand these days, but our
> paraffin disposal procedure should be OK for larger-scale
> operations too.
> Start with an empty cardboard box (about a 20 cm cube; could
> be bigger). Tape it up if tecessary, then pour used paraffin
> slowly round the inside and let it set, to seal any cracks
> securely. Add used paraffin from time to time until the box
> is full. Put the solid block in a trash can.
> In earlier years we made some of it into candles, with
> wax-soaked string for the wicks. Stirring in a pinch of
> sudan III, sudan IV or oil red O gave nice red candles.
> We don't do this any more because (a) it was quite a lot
> of work, (b) candles are not very expensive and bought
> ones look nicer than ones made by untrained amateurs, and
> (c) the electric lights work well nearly all the time and
> there is no real need for a large supply of free candles.
> John A. Kiernan
> Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology
> The University of Western Ontario
> London, Canada N6A 5C1
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