From: Monona Rossol <actsnyc**At_Symbol_Here**cs.com>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Biology Specimen Disposal
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2014 17:48:31 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Alcohol and formaldehyde (formalin--HOCH/methanol mixture) were the most common. Almost 100% alcohol was used by Darwin to collect his samples and the Brit Museum has that whole vast collection with fire suppression heads at about every 4 feet to deal with the fire hazard. Formalin and other formaldehyde mixtures came in full swing in the 1930s.
Take a look if the department also has an old glass microscope slide collection from the 1940-1070s. These specimens were either covered in balsam or Arochlor 1254 (PCBs). They can cost a lot to get rid of as well.
In museum work, Arochlor 1254 had an exemption for use as a slide mounting medium until around 1990.
Monona Rossol, M.S., M.F.A., Industrial Hygienist
President: Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety, Inc.
Safety Officer: Local USA829, IATSE
181 Thompson St., #23
New York, NY 10012 212-777-0062
From: Laura Damon <ldamon**At_Symbol_Here**FVCC.EDU>
To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Sent: Mon, Jun 2, 2014 5:24 pm
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Biology Specimen Disposal
We are cleaning out and remodeling our biology lab and have LOTS of preserved specimens, some from as far back as the 1940's. The biology folks want to discard these. My question-is there any way to dispose of them other than through a hazardous waste facility? I assume most are stored in formaldehyde solution.
Thanks in advance for your wisdom and replies.
Laura L Damon
Coordinator of Instructional Safety and Chemical Hygiene
Flathead Valley Community College
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