[Histonet] Re: Does xylene cause skin cancer?

Bob Richmond rsrichmond <@t> gmail.com
Wed Feb 22 12:48:11 CST 2012

I don't know of any evidence that xylene causes skin cancer. Concern
is with absorption through the skin. The most likely problem is with
the bone marrow - leukemia and related diseases - from aromatic
hydrocarbons (xylene, toluene, benzene) - which of course are present
in resinous mounting media even in "xylene free" laboratories.

Latex gloves dissolve rapidly. Nitrile rubber is more resistant,
though not very. I don't know about vinyl examination gloves.

I don't wear gloves in this situation, but obviously a pathologist
gets much less exposure than a histotechnologist does. I certainly
wouldn't argue with anyone who wanted to wear them.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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