T Nation

Animal Dissections

I’ve done it in high school and we just started doing it today in anatomy lab (cat). I don’t mind the guts and the cutting but the one thing I hate, and I mean LOATHE is that fuckin formaldohyde (sp?) smell.

I was wearing surgical gloves and washed my hands like 9 times between class and now and my hands still smell like that shit!!

Does anybody know of any kinds of hand creams or something that get rid of that smell? Maybe some sort of caustic acid.

Formaldehyde hasnt been used in years do to the problems associated with skin contact.

THey uses something else now days.

The problem is it is designed to soak into the flesh and stay there as a preservative. What you got onto your hands is doing the same thing. Something strong enough to take it away will probably be more dangerous to your health than tollerating the smell.

How it usually soaks into the flesh is thru the lipid structures. You could try something like liguid dish soap like DAWN that has is designe dot remove grease and oils. Scrape the underside of your nails really good while soaking them in the dish soap. Most chimicals that you smell are soaked into the particulate material under your nails.

If you are wearing gloves, the smell should not permeate. The chemical in question is either ethanol (doubt it–doesn’t smell bad) or a formalin/methanol combination. Formaldehyde is used in preservation, but it is in the form of “formalin,” a 37% mixture of formaldehyde (which is actually a gas) in water.

Bottom line: You should not be smelling formalin on your hands after washing if you were wearing gloves. As for ridding the smell, and since formaldehyde is gaseous, try scrubbing your hands with charcoal.

A caustic acid? You’re kidding, right? I would only consider that if my hands stank of methyl-mercaptan. Then I might just pull a Tyler Durden and soak them in good ol’ NaOH.

~Terumo

[quote]Terumo wrote:

Bottom line: You should not be smelling formalin on your hands after washing if you were wearing gloves. As for ridding the smell, and since formaldehyde is gaseous, try scrubbing your hands with charcoal.

~Terumo[/quote]

Ha, nice thought.

When I took gross anatomy we had the same problem, wearing 2 sets of gloves didn’t even help.

Sorry Chris, I think you’re screwed. . .

STU

You’re not screwed. I work with formalin all the time. It does not penetrate latex gloves. Stop sniffing your dead cat so much. :slight_smile:

If the smell bugs you that much put a little Vicks vapo under your nose.
Ref your hands- Soak in a nice warm bowl of water with some Lavender oil and Epsom Salt, coat with Shea Butter and go to bed. This tain’t something to do at the beginning of the day. If you can’t find Shea Butter, Bag Balm will work but smells funny to me. Rub in real well and leave the excess on your mits.

When you get to chickens pay attention, it’ll make you a most excellent turkey carver later in life :wink:

Get some blue Nytrile gloves instead of the standard white latex, they’re thicker, protect better, much preferred by us firefightres and my EMT friends.

As for the smell on your hands, try rubbing them down w/ fresh lemon juice, will neutralize it. Vicks vapor under the nose is the best way to avoid the smell while actually carving up the cat.

I don’t really mind the smell while I’m doing it. Yeah it stinks like shit but I can handle it during the act.

Its just when I’m at home later on in the day and I’m eating something like a tuna fish sandwich, I don’t like to be reminded of the dead cat I was “probing” earlier that day.

And yes, now that I think of it, the professor referred to it as formalin, so its only partly formaldohyde.

[quote]Sturat wrote:
When I took gross anatomy we had the same problem, wearing 2 sets of gloves didn’t even help.[/quote]

What kind of cheap-ass gloves are you people using?!?!

And by the way, chrismcl, every time I read one of your posts, I read it aloud, in the voice of Master Shake. Likewise, I always read rainjack’s posts as Hank Hill. Does anyone else do this, or has all of that preservation fluid corroded my frontal lobe?

~Terumo

listen, there’s a orange colored compound you can get at any auto zone or autobody shop that is designed to remove auto grease from hands. the shit works great for anatomy lab hands…if you do the vicks vapo rub thing, prepare to remove your sack and be a wuss like all the rest of the whiners in lab. its the best hands on learning experience you’re gonna have. take the smell as a badge of honor.

[quote]Terumo wrote:
Sturat wrote:
When I took gross anatomy we had the same problem, wearing 2 sets of gloves didn’t even help.

What kind of cheap-ass gloves are you people using?!?!

And by the way, chrismcl, every time I read one of your posts, I read it aloud, in the voice of Master Shake. Likewise, I always read rainjack’s posts as Hank Hill. Does anyone else do this, or has all of that preservation fluid corroded my frontal lobe?

~Terumo[/quote]

Terumo, the gloves I was using were “borrowed” from the cafeteria kitchen. Sorta makes you wonder how sanitary the food is, huh?

And that thing reading my posts with Shakezula’s voice. Thats fuckin hilarious. I just tried it (not aloud, cause that would be really weird if my roomate walked in on me, just in my head) and that is funny as hell. Shake is my idol, I wanna be like him when I grow up.

And I believe rainjack changed his avatar to Napoleon Dynamite, therefore you gotta talk like him now…

“Did you draw her a picture yet?”
“Heck yes I did!”

[quote]chrismcl wrote:
Terumo wrote:
Sturat wrote:
When I took gross anatomy we had the same problem, wearing 2 sets of gloves didn’t even help.

What kind of cheap-ass gloves are you people using?!?!

And by the way, chrismcl, every time I read one of your posts, I read it aloud, in the voice of Master Shake. Likewise, I always read rainjack’s posts as Hank Hill. Does anyone else do this, or has all of that preservation fluid corroded my frontal lobe?

~Terumo

Terumo, the gloves I was using were “borrowed” from the cafeteria kitchen. Sorta makes you wonder how sanitary the food is, huh?

And that thing reading my posts with Shakezula’s voice. Thats fuckin hilarious. I just tried it (not aloud, cause that would be really weird if my roomate walked in on me, just in my head) and that is funny as hell. Shake is my idol, I wanna be like him when I grow up.

And I believe rainjack changed his avatar to Napoleon Dynamite, therefore you gotta talk like him now…

“Did you draw her a picture yet?”
“Heck yes I did!”[/quote]

I knew nothing about Napoleon Dynamite prior to about two weeks ago, so, when rainjack first changed his avatar I was under the impression that the new avatar was an old high school photo of himself.

~Terumo

Terumo, the gloves I was using were “borrowed” from the cafeteria kitchen. Sorta makes you wonder how sanitary the food is, huh?

The gloves you were using offer very little protection. If they are what I think they are, they are cheap plastic, like a sandwich baggie. Do as danreeves said and get some nytrile gloves. I was a paramedic and that is what we used. You can’t beat them.