[Histonet] Re: Does xylene cause skin cancer?

Podawiltz, Thomas tpodawiltz <@t> lrgh.org
Fri Feb 24 11:03:03 CST 2012

I was sent this link a couple of weeks ago, thought I would share it. 


Tom Podawiltz HT (ASCP)
Histology Section Head/Laboratory Safety Officer. 
Laconia, NH 03246
603-524-3211 ext: 3220

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu [mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Rene J Buesa
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2012 11:48 AM
To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu; Jerry Ricks
Subject: Re: [Histonet] Re: Does xylene cause skin cancer?

There is an extensive literature linking xylene with some types of cancers, especially "blood cancers", as well as with birth defects caused by it and many other aromatic compounds.
The real solution is to just eliminate it, and that be done from ALL, and I mean ALL, the histology phases where it is used now. That is what I did.
René J.

--- On Thu, 2/23/12, Jerry Ricks <rosenfeldtek <@t> hotmail.com> wrote:

From: Jerry Ricks <rosenfeldtek <@t> hotmail.com>
Subject: [Histonet] Re: Does xylene cause skin cancer?
To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Date: Thursday, February 23, 2012, 5:31 PM

As far as I know Xylene is not a conformed carcinogen.  On the other hand the structure is close to that of Benzene which is a confirmed human carcinogen.  It's an aromatic hydrocarbon, so why take chances.  It makes sense to 1) minimize use. 2) Use fume hoods when possible.  3) Wear PPE--nitrile gloves not latex!




Jerry Ricks
Research Scientist
University of Washington
Department of Pathology

> Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2012 13:33:00 -0500
> From: rsrichmond <@t> gmail.com
> To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
> Subject: [Histonet] Re: Does xylene cause skin cancer?
> What's badly needed is a registry of death certificates of
> histotechnologists. The thing I'd want to examine would be the
> prevalence of myeloid leukemia and related diseases - known to be
> elevated in workers exposed to benzene. If such a correlation were
> found, it would mandate eliminating xylene from histology and cytology
> labs, and increasing precautions for handling resinous mounting media.
> The American Medical Association maintains such a registry of American
> physicians (or used to). It was used to establish that exposure to
> ionizing radiation (fluoroscopes and other X-ray equipment) was
> correlated with deaths from myeloid leukemia. Pathologists didn't have
> any particular problems - here I'd wonder about formaldehyde exposure
> and upper airway cancer. Pathologists get more exposure to
> formaldehyde than do histotechnologists.
> Bob Richmond
> Samurai Pathologist
> Knoxville TN
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