There have been many reports of the relative hazards of formaldehyde, xylene, and hot paraffin wax fumes in pathology laboratories. In contrast, there have been comparatively few describing efficient extraction systems for their removal. When the opportunity presented to design a new laboratory the efficient removal of these fumes was given a high priority. In designing the extraction systems described consideration was given to the physical properties of the fumes and the degree of freedom of use of the bench, with the object of achieving sub-threshold limit values for each area of exposure. The efficiency of removal of the formaldehyde and xylene was measured using infrared spectroscopy.
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