[Histonet] Safety

Laurie Colbert laurie.colbert <@t> huntingtonhospital.com
Thu Feb 5 16:13:05 CST 2004

We have a 55 gallon drum that is enclosed in a flammable cabinet.  The flammable cabinet is also vented to the outside.  Although we are now recycling most of our reagents, we are able to dump formalin, alcohol, and xylene all together into this one big drum and have it hauled off.  It makes it very easy on us, and we have never had any problems with CAP or safety inspections.

As far as fumes and smells go, we have an air filter that we got from Creative Waste Solutions, Inc.  It is supposed to be good at reducing not only the smells but also the exposure to the chemicals.  I use the air filter in the grossing area and several of us noticed a reduction in the formalin fumes.  It is also supposed to work with xylene.  I am not affilitate with Creative Waste and if you're interested, their number is (888) 795-8300.  The people there are great to work with.

Laurie Colbert
Huntington Hospital
Pasadena, CA 

-----Original Message-----
From: Rebecca Barnhart [mailto:RBARNHART <@t> summithealth.org]
Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2004 7:28 AM
To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: [Histonet] Safety

After all the discussion with the pregnancy in the lab that I have read
it started making me think. I have worked in the lab almost 9 years and
when I started I noticed some safety concerns and finally some have
began to change. Don't get me wrong, we use safety precautions but there
are things we overlook because they have became the norm for us.  For
example we use to store our used americlear and acetone in gallon jugs
(the empty alcohol, americlear, acetone, etc ones) under our stainer
that sits on a wood table.  There would be anywhere from 12 to 16
gallons until it was dumped, for several weeks up to a month.  Finally
we are getting it dumped at least once a week and in the very near
future we are renovating our histo lab.  This will enable us to have a
55 gallon drum in a flam cabinet so we can dump our waste in as we
change the processor and stainer.  Some of my concerns are dumping all
waste (except americal and acetone) down the drain, cover slipping and
changing the solutions.  Currently we coverslip on the counter, no hood.
 Same with changing the solutions.  I use the hood to dump old solutions
out and new in but not everyone does.  How does everyone else handle the
issue of fumes, dumping waste down the drain and any safety issues? We
are a small lab, only 2 histo tech and 1 pathologist.  We are in a small
room (at least with our renovation it will be opened up more, which I
think will help with ventilation) All new employees seem to notice a
smell, even ones that are use to the histo environment.  Scary as it
sounds I am use to the smell.  Thanks in advance for all the input.

Becky Barnhart
rbarnhart <@t> summithealth.org 

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