ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences




The dangers inherent in the technique of fine needle biopsy are due to the following:

  • Needle prick, especially in cases of contagious disease. It is important to be aware of the relevant medical history before attempting to obtain material for examination. If a needle prick does occur seek immediate medical advice.
  • Aspirated material entering an open wound on the hand. Dress any open wounds and wear gloves before aspirating any lesion.
  • Most aspirates are fixed in methanol and stained with Giemsa. Methanol is highly toxic and Giemsa is potentially carcinogenic. The dye solution is also toxic and inflammable.


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