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Safety Question!


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6 replies to this topic

#1 Katedoc

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 04:50 AM

Hey guys,

Does anyone have any knowledge about formalin-fixed animal specimens & what the risk of exposure to formalin is once the animals have been washed clean of formalin & removed to ethanol?

I wouldn't be so cautious normally but I'm 3 months pregnant. I just finished my postdoc & have been offered this position identifying benthic animal specimens to take me up to going on maternity leave.

Just wondering if anyone has any experience of this?
Also, sorry if this is in the wrong forum, wasn't sure where to post it :o

Thanks!

#2 casandra

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 05:20 AM

Hey guys,

Does anyone have any knowledge about formalin-fixed animal specimens & what the risk of exposure to formalin is once the animals have been washed clean of formalin & removed to ethanol?

I wouldn't be so cautious normally but I'm 3 months pregnant. I just finished my postdoc & have been offered this position identifying benthic animal specimens to take me up to going on maternity leave.

Just wondering if anyone has any experience of this?
Also, sorry if this is in the wrong forum, wasn't sure where to post it :o

Thanks!

hi KateDoc,

This forum is as good as any and first off, congratulations. ;) I know some colleagues who got pregnant while working and I think that they were not allowed to work with solvents esp during the early stages. If you have any doubts, couldn't you consult the health and safety board of the institute or the university you'd be working in? We also have a special prvincial gov't commission here for health safety and worker's compensation and they're quite strict with their guidelines regarding risks in the work place...there shld be an equivalent where you are. Anyways, good luck...
"Oh what a beauteousness!"
- hobglobin, personal comment about my beauteous photo......

#3 Katedoc

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 01:21 AM

Hi Cassandra,

Thanks for the congrats! Yep I have consulted my health & safety officer who's happy that it's safe but I am the first pregnant lab worker they've had & I'm not convinced they're up to speed, it's very much making it up as we go along!
Working directly with solvents is out, but these specimens would have been treated with formalin & washed clean in another lab. So basically I'm just wondering how stable formalin is in fixed tissues, obviously if there's a chance fumes will still be emitted then I can't work with these specimens.
Any feedback would be very welcome!

#4 microgirl

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 07:25 AM

Can you perhaps contact OSHA in your area (or have your safety people contact them)? They should be up on the pregnancy/workplace hazards thing.

#5 sgt4boston

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 12:06 PM

Search online google etc. Will samples be under a lab hood? will you be wearing safety equipment, gloves, etc.

#6 Katedoc

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 01:02 AM

Can you perhaps contact OSHA in your area (or have your safety people contact them)? They should be up on the pregnancy/workplace hazards thing.



Thanks, good idea, didn't think of that.

#7 Katedoc

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 01:06 AM

Search online google etc. Will samples be under a lab hood? will you be wearing safety equipment, gloves, etc.


Thanks for the suggestion, I've tried searching online, but there's very little other than working with formalin directly. Yep, I have all the safety gear & it's up to EU safety standards, but I guess I would just like to know what I'm dealing with first.




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