Document Detail

Evaluation of methods to reduce formaldehyde levels of cadavers in the dissection laboratory.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18058900     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Dissection of conventionally embalmed cadavers exposes students, staff, and faculty to formaldehyde, a probable carcinogen. Therefore, prudent practices should seek to minimize formaldehyde exposure. In this study, we evaluated two commercially available chemicals, InfuTrace and Perfect Solution, for their effectiveness in reducing ambient formaldehyde levels. Four cadavers embalmed conventionally with formaldehyde and/or with the above agents were compared for their formaldehyde levels under conditions that strictly controlled for air circulation and for locations and methods of testing, and during activities that simulated student dissecting. For InfuTrace, one cadaver was reinfused with InfuTrace after initial standard perfusion with formaldehyde; a second cadaver had InfuTrace injected into the thoracic and abdominal body cavities after formaldehyde perfusion. For Perfect Solution, the product was used for embalming a third cadaver in lieu of formaldehyde. For a control, a fourth cadaver was embalmed with the standard formaldehyde solution. Testing of personal and ambient room air samples and of fluid obtained from the cadavers was performed and analyzed in a blinded fashion. Results indicated that both Perfect Solution, substituted for standard formaldehyde embalming, and InfuTrace infused through the vasculature after formaldehyde embalming, resulted in lower concentrations of formaldehyde than embalming with formaldehyde solution alone or in combination with body cavity injection of InfuTrace. These differences in formaldehyde concentrations are consistent across measuring methods, for example, of room air, of breathing zone air during cadaver handling and dissection, and of liquid samples obtained from the cadavers. Perfect Solution yielded suboptimum fixation and a different texture, color, and smell than the formaldehyde treatments.
Mark C Whitehead; Maria C Savoia
Publication Detail:
Type:  Evaluation Studies; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Clinical anatomy (New York, N.Y.)     Volume:  21     ISSN:  1098-2353     ISO Abbreviation:  Clin Anat     Publication Date:  2008 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-12-25     Completed Date:  2008-01-30     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8809128     Medline TA:  Clin Anat     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  75-81     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
(c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Department of Surgery, Division of Anatomy, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0604, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Air Pollutants, Occupational / adverse effects
Air Pollution, Indoor / adverse effects*
Anatomy / education,  methods
Dissection / methods*
Education, Medical / methods
Embalming / methods*
Fixatives / adverse effects*
Formaldehyde / adverse effects*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Air Pollutants, Occupational; 0/Fixatives; 50-00-0/Formaldehyde

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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