Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Survived from Formaldehyde Fuming

I am preferring the evening/night shift in the crowded cell culture lab to maintain peace. Another lab in day shift. One room is divided in three different compartments each facilitated with laminar hood, inverted microscope, centrifuge, liquid nitrogen tank, and incubators. My cell culture lab is one of them. Last week, as usual, when I entered the lab, pungent like smell and eye irritating environment made me to get out immediately.

I asked a colleague, next to the cell culture lab (thanks at least one was there), whether it was fumigated or not. He replied, “no”, later he said mocking me, “I don't know.” I again returned to the cell culture lab and checked every compartments of the lab and notice board. There should be notice and information for fuming, but nothing could be found as the indicator of fuming except AC was switched off and dustbin was full of waste. “Probably the smell and irritation due to this waste and no air circulation”, I assumed. I had felt such kind of odor on microbiological work, few years ago. Then I decided to work putting mask. Sooner, I felt suffocation and severe headache. It was fuming gas ! ? # Promptly, I rushed to lawn for fresh air breathing.

After 15 minutes, eye irritation reduced but headache persisted then I returned to the room immediately. Thanks I survived. Next day, though appeared in the institute but could not work due to headache. Meanwhile, the same colleague with whom yesterday I asked, bemocked me informing about the fuming. One of the research assistant (or graduate student ?) had fumed with formaldehyde to sterilize one of their compartment at the last time of office hour.

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