[Histonet] Xylene and Formalin substitutes

Amanda Reichard areichard at lmhealth.org
Thu Oct 22 06:12:19 CDT 2015

Good Morning!

Our lab actually just went through some research regarding this, so I thought I would share.
We have used the xylene substitute Americlear from Cardinal Health for a long time.  It works well with our reagent alcohols and formalin, and we haven't had any processing or staining issues with it. I think the price isn't that bad either. Another benefit is how safe it is compared to xylene and some other substitutes.  We were looking into getting a new piece of cytology equipment, but we would have had to change our xylene substitute.  The approved substitutes (Pro-Par, Thermo Shandon Xylene Substitute, and Histo-clear) all had really bad MSDS's. Some of them seemed worse than xylene! I can't remember which one, but it said it caused birth defects which was a big NO since a few of us in the lab still want more babies.
Because of the safety issue, we didn't switch.
I would be interested in any answers you get for formalin substitutes if you don't mind! I know our lab tried some before, but it didn't fix lymph nodes very well.

Have a great Thursday everyone!

Amanda Reichard, HTL (ASCP)cm
Histology Supervisor
Licking Memorial Health Systems
1320 W. Main St.
Newark, OH 43055
(740) 348-4163
From: Bharti Parihar via Histonet [histonet at lists.utsouthwestern.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 6:36 PM
To: histonet at lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: [Histonet] Xylene and Formalin substitutes

Hello everyone. I'm interested in starting a conversation at my workplace
regarding substitutes for xylene,  and if there are any substitutes for
formalin. If anyone out there is using any can they please give me feedback
regarding the following questions,

1. Name of substitutes?
2. Pros and Cons?
3. Any quality issues when performing H&E, IHC or Special Stains?
4. Is it cost effective?
5. Does it require different dehydrants other than alcohol?
6. If formalin is still used as fixative,  what xylene substitute works
best with formalin?

I appreciate any feedback! Thanks!
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