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Re: Formalin question
have you actually bought 37% formaldehyde at a drugstore? If so, I'd be
surprised. In many states there are restrictions on buying formalin and on
how you have to dispose of it. It is allegedly carcinogenic, although as
someone whose profession uses it by the barrelful, I think that is
over-rated. Anyway, I doubt that many drugstores carry it. Your best bet,
in my opinion, is to ask your veterinarian. Some of them will have the 37%
stuff that they dilute 1:10 for fixing tissue for submission to a pathology
service. Others will have the 10% solution ready made. The latter is fine.
You just use 10 drops/gal rather than 1. Just be sure which one you are
using. Personally I feel more comfortable with people using 10% anyway, as
37% formaldehyde is dangerous stuff for which you must avoid skin contact,
breathing vapors, etc.
The nomenclature is confusing by the way. Formalin, as far as I know, is
not an old brand name, but the name given to a 37% solution of
formaldehyde, which is a gas. We then use the term, 10% formalin. That is a
1:10 dilution of the strong stuff and is usually buffered with phosphates.
The latter won't do any harm if you use 10% formalin to kill hydra. You'll
get rid of most of it anyway when you do the requisite water change.
At 07:04 PM 3/14/01 -0800, you wrote:
>Shane Essary wrote:
> > Okay, I'm sold on the concept of formalin. However, when I went to the
> drugstore, the pharmacist had no idea what "formalin" was or where to get
> it. Is it on the shelf? Do I need to get it from behind the
> counter? what is it's "traditional" application?
>Don't ask for "Formalin" as that's an old, old Trade Name. Ask for 37%
>formaldehyde, and settle for 35% if that's all they have.
>Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679 wright at killi dot net
> For all you ever wanted to know about West Coast Weekend X
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Barry J. Cooper, Prof., Dept. Biomedical Sciences, Cornell University
Current address: 27505 Riggs Hill Rd.
Sweet Home, OR 97386 (bjc3 at cornell_edu)
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