ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences
These agents are used for many purposes in the histology laboratory from bleaching elements in tissue sections to acting as disinfectants.25
Bleaches are oxidising agents20 and as such are corrosive and can cause damage to sensitive membranes and outer body surfaces. When using bleaches wear protective clothing and avoid splashes. If contact occurs, wash the affected area with large quantities of water (see Basic emergency procedures).
Bleaches commonly used in laboratories include acidified potassium permanganate, iodine followed by sodium thiosulphate, hydrogen peroxide, oxalic acid, sodium hypochlorite and formalin.
Bleaches also used as disinfectants include sodium hypochlorite, formalin, iodine and acidified potassium permanganate.