From: "B. Rayfield" <barryrayfield**At_Symbol_Here**NC.RR.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Osmium tetroxide work
Date: February 1, 2012 9:33:20 PM EST
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <1xhl1n3amvh7qsvcu4m3lm8o.1328148251844**At_Symbol_Here**>

Yung, since we use osmium tetroxide because it strongly binds to the lipid ends of phospholipid structures in cell membranes, it seems reasonable a vegetable oil may be useful in decon. But Russ is right, this makes recycling very difficult to impossible. Since a number of individuals in the past have been blinded by gas phase exposure to OsO4 in EM labs (corneal damage), your procedures need to also insure this hazard is not propagated to a waste material recipient. We have diluted the material in non-hazardous buffers to reduce the vapor pressure to safer levels, this did not affect the potential for recycling nearly as much as other options.


Russ Phifer &lt;rphifer**At_Symbol_Here**WCENVIRONMENTAL.COM&gt; wrote:

Yung – I have several thoughts on the osmium tetroxide work, particularly in terms of the end product. First, be careful about what buffers your researchers are using. There are about 5 possible buffers for electron microscopy; all are fairly benign except for the one using cacodylic acid. That results in a hazardous waste, whereas the other buffers don’t. And, ….. don’t forget that OSO4 goes for about $15/gram! It can be recycled through a refiner, but not if you degrade it in vegetable oil, and not if you have cacodylic acid buffer.




Russ Phifer

WC Environmental, LLC

1085C Andrew Drive

West Chester, PA  19380

610-696-9220x12/ fax 610-344-7519

Cell - 610-322-0657



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From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Yung Morgan
Sent: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 3:23 PM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Osmium tetroxide work


Dear members,


Our researchers heat the 2% solution of Osmium tetroxide in water in a household microwave oven: 2 minutes at 20% or defrost power level. They told me that “everyone” does this.  


Please share with me any thought you have on Osmium tetroxide work? Any special clean up or decon procedures for the chemical hood or in this case the microwave oven?  Anyone had used corn oil for decontamination?


I am writing up a standard operating procedure for this chemical also and would appreciate any suggestion the group may have.  Thank you so much for your help.


Best regards


Yung Morgan, MsPH
Laboratory Safety
Industrial Hygiene Services
Environmental Health and Safety
117 Draper hall
UMASS,Amherst MA 01003
phone (413)  545-2682
Fax  (413) 545-2600
email : pmorgan**At_Symbol_Here**



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