From: Monona Rossol <actsnyc**At_Symbol_Here**>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Cadaver labs and formaldehyde
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2014 11:29:47 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: 8D18E9089ADC59A-28B0-23B2C**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <4F21A5F3A002444D8B4F5E4B767431E53767969F**At_Symbol_Here**EXMBX2010-7.campus.MCGILL.CA>

Wayne,  Thanks for the study.  Clearly it shows that Infutrace reduces the amount of airborne formaldehyde and does it better than the other product.  There's nothing there about the hazards of the replacements.
So dang, what is it?  Have tests been done for skin absorption, glove permeation, and or for any significant chronic hazards?  All I see on the MSDS is sparse acute data.  And if we knew the structure of the ingredients, we might even be able to make some guesses about chronic toxicity.
I keep thinking of the endless progressions of substitutes that had significant hazards of their own. I go back a long way to the 70s when industry replaced banned PCBs with PBBs (polybrominated biphenyls) with a disastrous accidental food chain human exposure in Michigan. Next they stuck an oxygen in between the PBB phenyl groups and we have the polybrominated  diphenyl ethers to contend with.  And when the EU banned many of these,  Chemtura created a replacement unregulated chemical called Fire Master 550 which is untested but whose structure is identical to diethylhexyl phthalate except for four bromines on the benzene ring.  This leaves the business end of DEHP free to do its thing while making the molecule even more persistent in the environment.
I won't bore you with a litany of these stories, but I no longer accept any replacement chemical with unknown hazards.
If you want to talk plasticizers, I'm in leaving tomorrow for a university building planning project in Aberdeen, SD.  I will be incommunicado until I'm back in my NYC office on Sept 1 (yes, I'll work Labor day unless the union asks this decrepit old lady to march with them). 
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

-----Original Message-----
From: Wayne Wood <wayne.wood**At_Symbol_Here**MCGILL.CA>
Sent: Mon, Aug 25, 2014 10:49 am
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Cadaver labs and formaldehyde

Good point Monona, it is always wise to assess the hazards before embarking on a quest to substitute one chemical product for another. 
Infutrace (and Perfect Solution) have been around for a while and so far the assessments are promising:
These are formaldehyde "replacements", and not plasticizers. I know very little about the plasticizers but if any of you do, please share. 
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Monona Rossol
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2014 10:02 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Cadaver labs and formaldehyde
Well, I'm between trips so I haven't seen all of this thread, but I'm disappointed.  If HOCH is replaced in anatomy labs, where is the information about the replacements?
I got the MSDS (2012) for Infutrace (Sasco Chemical) and it is proprietary, unregulated and untested for chronic toxicity. But that doesn't mean it doesn't have any chronic toxicity.  I have a problem with exposing students to a large volume of an untested, unidentified chemical.  And worse--it may be a plasticizer as suggested which means it's going right through those thin surgical gloves.  And if it plasticizes a stiff, it can plasticize a live body as well.
The MSDS recommends Neoprene gloves, but there's no information on thickness, how long they should be used, etc.  And usually students attacking a cadaver use thin surgical gloves.
I don't think we need to go into the many "safe" plasticizers that later have been found to be a big problem in even  miniscule amounts.   I don't understand how people can justify recommending a chemical product for a purpose like this  without  knowing what it is, what is known about it and, more importantly, what is NOT known about it. 
A risk assessment is needed here.
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

-----Original Message-----
From: Wayne Wood <
Sent: Mon, Aug 25, 2014 9:05 am
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Cadaver labs and formaldehyde
See replies to john Nail's questions below:
>A question for those of you who have cadaver labs -
>Does a 'formaldehyde-free' embalming method for lab cadavers exist?
Yes, but it is not a simple perfusion and involves the full immersion of the 
cadaver in a tank. 
Alternatively you can still embalm with formalin-based fluids but then you can 
replace them with Infutrace or plasticizer so that the cadavers have little or 
no HCHO in them when they are brought into the student lab.  
>If a university is building a cadaver lab, does the lab need to have 
specialized equipment that will remove airborne formaldehyde?
If you have cadavers preserved in formalin you need a local exhaust system (e.g. 
downdraft dissection tables) to protect the students and instructors from 
exposure.  The area where you prep the cadavers should have a top quality local 
exhaust system as the technicians who do this work are there for the long term 
and are at greatest risk of exposure.
>Can the air in the lab be vented to outside the building without treatment? 
It depends on the concentration coming out the stack and what your local 
authorizes will allow but in my experience there will be so much air flowing 
through your exhaust system that the resultant effluent concentration may very 
well be below regulated levels.  
>Is there a legal (compliance or civil) reason to be monitoring for 
In my jurisdiction we have to monitor annually, due to the fact HCHO has made 
its way onto the carcinogen list. As well, due diligence dictates that you need 
to have good monitoring data if ever you are challenged with any lawsuits.  True 
story: in our case the availability of reliable exposure data saved us millions 
of dollars. 
>Many thanks for your replies,
>John Nail
>Professor of Chemistry
>Oklahoma City University
Wayne Wood, CIH | Associate Director, University Safety (EHS), University 
Services - Directeur Adjoint, Direction de la pr=C3=A9vention (SSE), Services 
universitaires | McGill University | 3610 rue McTavish Street, 4th floor | 
Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H3A 1Y2 | Tel: (514) 398-2391

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