Working Safely with Fixatives

Fixatives are among the most hazardous substances used in life science research. Work with these substances under the hood wearing gloves, lab coat and safety goggles.

Formaldehyde is a suspect cancer hazard and a strong sensitizer. It is harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. High exposures may be fatal. Formaldehyde can cause blindness if swallowed.

Glutaraldehyde is corrosive, causing severe eye burns as well as severe irritation to the skin and respiratory tract. Additionally, glutaraldehyde can cause an allergic reaction.

Potassium permanganate, potassium dichromate and osmium tetroxide are strong oxidizers and can cause severe burns to any area of contact, possibly fatal if swallowed or inhaled. Furthermore, potassium dichromate is a known carcinogen.

Mercuric chloride may be fatal if swallowed. It is a birth defect hazard. Mercuric chloride is harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Mercuric chloride causes severe irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract.

Safe Disposal of Aldehyde Waste

National Diagnostics' Neutralin converts aldehyde waste into a noncorrosive, nontoxic polymer and water (nonhazardous waste as defined in Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations (United States)) 40 CFR 261.24(a). Neutralin reduces disposal costs and contributes to a safer work environment.

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