Re: safety question

<< Previous Message | Next Message >>
From:"Mary Stevens" <>,
Date:Thu, 23 Sep 1999 13:08:26 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain; charset=US-ASCII


Are respirators still required if pouring exclusively in a chemical fume hood?  I take it this only pertains to clinical settings, and not research?


>>> "Tim Morken" <> - 9/23/1999 8:07 AM >>>
I the US the CAP requires that you have filter-equipped respirators for 
formalin and organic solvents. These aren't too expensive and can be gotten 
from any supply house. The repirators should be used any time you are 
pouring or mixing formalin or xylene.

Tim Morken, B.A., EMT(MSA), HTL(ASCP)
Infectious Disease Pathology
Centers for Disease Control
1600 Clifton Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30333


Phone: (404) 639-3964
FAX:  (404)639-3043

----Original Message Follows----
From: "R.Wadley" <>
Subject: Re: safety question
Date: Thu, 23 Sep 1999 16:31:43 +1000

	Dear Glenda,

	My former boss insisted that his Histo lab have its own respirators (we
had access to 3, I think)  but generally in the hospital 1 unit per floor
(maybe corridor) was considered adequate.  Part of it is obviously cost
cutting, the other part is of course personnel need to be trained in the
correct use of such equipment for it to be of real use.  This is also cost
cutting because the training costs money.

	To further clarify, the respirators in the histo lab were just proper face
masks with appropriate filters, the kit in the hall was the full on bit
with an oxygen tank.  Any Histo lab without respirators for cleaning up
formalin or solvent spills is one that gets shut down for hours or days at
a time waiting for the fire department to mop up for them!  There are
obvious hazards associated with leaving these sorts of spills untouched for
long periods of time.  Explosions, fire & the detrimental effect on the
health of other people in the building (staff & patients) just the obvious

	Any sort of formalin spill was always a major event for us.  Doors were
shut, staff cleared from the affected area, equipment & neutraization
equipment prepared, even having the staff & equipment on hand meant that at
least part of the lab was out of action for between 30 minutes & 2 hours
depending on circumstances.  Everywhere we had formalin, we had neutraliser
& a full face respirator within easy reach.  My boss was (& remains)  very
fussy about that, & now so am I.

	I would need to be paid a lot of money nowdays before I worked in a lab
without adequate health & safety equipment ... an awful lot of money.


	Rob W.

At 09:15 09/22/1999 -0500, you wrote:
 >Have the rulings changed?
 >I have recently presented a lecture in our program about laboratory 
 >and one of the students' assignments included finding out, in their own
 >labs, what PPE's were available/required for certain tasks.
 >One of the students wrote that respirators are not available in her lab, 
 >that the supervisor told her that they are no longer required -- 
 >of any kind, for any task. Surely, I haven't missed a change that
 >Any of you safety "gurus" out there know anything about all this? I'd sure
 >like some input, and will pass along whatever new information you have to
 >the students in the training program.
 >Thanks in advance,
 >Glenda F. Hoye, B.S., HT(ASCP)
 >Histotechnology Program Director
 >Indiana University School of Allied Health Sciences
 >Indianapolis, IN 46202-5119  317-278-1599

R. Wadley, B.App.Sc. M.L.S, Grad.Dip.Sc.MM
Laboratory Manager
Cellular Analysis Facility
School of Microbiology & Immunology
UNSW, New South Wales, Australia, 2052
Ph (BH) 	+61 (2) 9385 3517
Ph (AH)	+61 (2) 9555 1239
Fax 	+61 (2) 9385 1591

Get Your Private, Free Email at

<< Previous Message | Next Message >>