I should have included the web links of the two referenced documents:
I had to consult my Biosafety staff on this one. Here is the response I got:
"I'm guessing the reason he can't find a contact time for formalin specifically is because it is widely varied. I'm attaching two documents that address formalin fixation specifically and the range is from minutes to many hours. The Guidelines for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities has a ton of information and is a very good resource. The other is a paper that give contact times for Rift Valley Fever virus specifically with formalin.
The gist of these documents is that many factors need to be considered, e.g. size or thickness of the material, what type of pathogen or potential pathogen is suspected or considered (eg. enveloped viruses or spore forming bacteria). In general we use bleach as the model. 10-15 minutes for cells or up to several hours for thicker tissues. "
Hope this helps.
Nice Peter - I enjoyed reviewing the information provided, but may I ask a subset of the SOP template question regarding when to consider fixed tissues non-hazardous?
When fixing tissues, how long does it take to consider tissues non-infectious (considering fixation in 10% neutral buffered formalin or other fixatives)?
I was asked this question today, consulted Seymour Block's reference book (Disinfection, Sterilization, and Preservation) and could not find an answer there or anywhere else.
I am looking for when to handle specimens as non-infectious (disregarding the potential for prions.) I think the potential for infectivity needs to be considered in the SOPs of when/how the tissues are to be processed in engineering controls vs. being considered non-infectious, only having to be handled due to the hazards of the respective fixatives.
Any suggestions from the list?
Here is the template we recently developed at Illinois: http://www.drs.illinois.edu/site-documents/SOPTemplate.docx For more guidance on SOPs, we recommend people read this web page (http://www.drs.illinois.edu/Programs/StandardOperatingProcedures) first and then put together the SOP. Note that this web page also has an example SOP.
Peter Ashbrook, Director
Division of Research Safety
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU]On Behalf Of Jeffrey Lewin
Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2015 9:35 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Sample Chemical Safety Information Searches
I'll suggest one, then pose it to the group.
Would anybody be willing to share their Standard Operating Procedures' template with me?
I teach a class (Medical Laboratory Instrumentation) and for the last two years we've used the template from RPI, that I believe I originally got from a discussion on this list. I do a "simple" example of making up and using a acid wash then ask them to use it to develop SOP's for lab centrifuges, blood cell counters, urinalysis instrumentation, etc.
As I was reviewing it this morning (of course, the lab I'm doing acid bath example in is today) I realized it would be nice to have a version that is more reflective of the updated GHS standards - using pictograms in place of older symbols for corrosive, poison, oxidizer, etc.; section headers that better align with the 16 titled section on an SDS; and, while not so much GHS but a headache we've been facing in some research labs, more details in the "waste management" section that indicates using the correct container, labeling, and generally thinking about waste production BEFORE starting the experiment.
On Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 8:17 AM, Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <secretary**At_Symbol_Here**dchas.org> wrote:
I'm working with some chemical librarians and chemical information professionals to develop strategies for searching electronic information resources (i.e. the web) for chemical safety information. To help with these discussions, we'd like to come up with ten or so fairly specific questions that EHS people might be called upon to research to support lab workers in their safety efforts. Examples of such questions appear on this list relatively frequently, can include inquiries such as
- "I am looking for a safer alternative to Piranha etch that would work but wouldn't have the hazards associated with Piranha"
- "Are any of you running building traps on your house vacuum systems?"
- "I've had a request for an ammonia detector for the animal room in Biology. Does anyone have any recommendations?"
- "Someone asked me how large of a spill they could clean up themselves without calling our internal emergency spill team. Let's assume it is something nasty like methylene chloride or benzene. Is there a good rule of thumb for how large of a spill (outside a hood) can be cleaned up safely?"
If you assume that you're on a campus that doesn't have an EHS staff, or just decide as a lab person to google your way to answer, what web resources would you as an EHS person consider reliable in providing information to these kinds of questions and what keywords would you use to find answers?
One resource we've already looked at is the MSDS glossary at
which has a lot of useful keywords, as well as what they call "Useless MSDS Abbreviations". We're interesting in keywords that might not be on that list.
Or if you've had an interesting question like this come up recently, just the question itself would be an interesting addition to our discussions.
Thanks for any help with this.
Division of Chemical Health and Safety
American Chemical Society
Departmental Laboratory Supervisor
Michigan Technological University
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