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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-81-226-1048, University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine Histopathology Laboratory, Athens, Georgia.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 81-226-1048, 1982 Feb; :1-11
Workplace exposures to xylene (1330207) and formaldehyde (50000) vapors during processing and mounting of tissue specimens in the histopathology laboratory (SIC-8071) of the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia were evaluated. The Department Head requested the evaluation since some of the four lab technicians had complained of headaches, inability to concentrate, nausea, and sinus problems. An industrial hygiene survey was conducted on April 27, 1981. Air sampling indicated that exposure to xylene was not significant under normal procedures. Lab technicians were exposed to 12.8 parts per million (ppm) of formaldehyde for 30 minutes per week when changing formalin solution in tissue processors. The OSHA 8 hour time weighted average for formaldehyde is 3.0ppm. NIOSH has classified formaldehyde as a suspected carcinogen. The author concludes that lab technicians are exposed to high concentrations of formaldehyde. The author suggests that changing of formalin solutions should be performed using transfer methods which will minimize exposure. All tissue processors should be located in well ventilated areas.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazards-Confirmed; Industrial-exposures; Ventilation; Air-sampling; Work-practices; Medical-examinations; Industrial-hygiene; Heavy-metals; Welders; Welding-equipment; Region-4; HETA-81-226-1048; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Author Keywords: medical laboratories; pathological laboratories; formaldehyde; tissue processing; xylene; coverslipping; headache; irritation
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division