The University of Findlay

Gross Anatomy Laboratory (BCHS #09)

Instructional Tours


The purpose of this document is to inform you of the hazardous chemicals and conditions that you may be exposed in the Gross Anatomy Laboratory. Exposure is defined as personal contact with the hazardous or potentially hazardous chemicals at levels with an average eight hour time weighted average, set for by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienist or OSHAŐs Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) when used in a manner consistent with usual laboratory procedures. This includes inhalation of the ambient laboratory air and skin contact as the anatomical specimens are handled.

Hazardous Chemicals

The hazardous or potentially hazardous chemicals to which you are exposed in the Gross Anatomy Laboratories are the components of the embalming fluid and the wetting solution. A list of these components follows. The MSDS sheets are available to you pursuant to 29 CFR, 1910.1200, the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard and are housed in the Gross Anatomy Laboratory.


1.     Embalming Fluid- The fluid contains formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, glycerine, alcohol, and water. Formaldehyde is a suspected carcinogen and respiratory irritant. In addition, skin irritation may occur with prolonged exposure.

2.     Phenol- This chemical is used on occasions for fungicidal purposes, and is a respiratory toxin and skin irritant.

3.     Mold-X- This detergent is used for fungicidal purposes and the active ingredients are formaldehyde and methanol. Formaldehyde is a suspected carcinogen and respiratory irritant.


Student Considerations

Skin: Protective clothing such as long sleeves and pants or hospital scrubs is strongly recommended. The use of latex or non-latex gloves is required for long term handling of the cadaver structures and gloves will be provided during lab time. The occasional handling of a specimen without gloves does not appear to be a danger, although this practice is not recommended. A student who has or develops a skin sensitivity should use gloves and wear long sleeved garments at all times.


In addition, the student should notify the instructor and their physician so that appropriate procedures can be implemented. Students exhibiting contact sensitivity should consult a physician regarding type of gloves, garments, or other items that may cause irritability. Minor cuts and abrasions from cutting instruments or bone edges should be washed thoroughly with soap and water. Contact a member of the laboratory staff or faculty for antiseptic and dressing materials. Any serious wound should be treated by a physician immediately.

Eyes: Accidental fluid splashed into the eyes should be flushed immediately using the eye wash station located in the laboratory, and a physician consulted. Many students now wear contact lenses and many types of lenses now exist. Questions concerning the effects of any of the above chemicals on eye tissues while wearing contact lenses or on the lenses themselves should be directed to your ophthalmologist and/or optometrist.

Respiratory: Individual students may have or develop sensitivity to any of the chemicals used in the laboratory, in particular formaldehyde or phenol. In order to obtain a respiratory protective device (respirator), a student must have a respiratory evaluation by a physician, after which s/he is fitted and trained in its proper care by their physician. A particle filter mask provides no protection for formaldehyde or phenol sensitivity.

Pregnancy: Students who are or who learn they are pregnant or who are nursing newborn infants while using Gross Anatomy Laboratories should consult their obstetrician immediately regarding recommended precautions.

The anatomical specimens found in the Gross Anatomy Laboratory do contain hazardous or potentially hazardous chemicals within the embalming fluids which may potentially expose a person to the risk of injury and illness. The risks associated with study of anatomical specimens in Brewer Center for Health Science (Room #09) have been explained to my satisfaction and I have had an opportunity to ask questions about them.

Rules and Regulations


1.    Through collaborations with various medical colleges in the region, the University of Findlay has obtained cadavers for anatomy study. These were unselfish and concerned individuals that had foresight to contribute to educate clinicians. The anatomical specimens studied must be handled with respect and dignity at all times.


2.    No cameras or video of a specimen is allowed, including camera phones.


3. No cadaver tissue is to be taken outside of the laboratory at any time.


4.     Eating or drinking is not permitted in the laboratory. The Brewer Center for Health Sciences is a smoke free building.


5.     If there is a suspicion that a donor may be a relative or acquaintance of a student, the student should contact Dr. Bouillon.


6.     The cadavers are identified by numbers and those numbers correspond to their dissection table. The anatomical specimens should never be removed from their corresponding table.


7.     Paper toweling, used gloves, and disposable pointing instruments are to be deposited in the appropriate trash containers, not left in the specimen trays or bins.



8.     Garments worn in the laboratory must be long sleeve and pants. Shoes worn in the lab must adequately protect the top of the foot. All persons handling cadavers are required to wear gloves and protective eyewear is suggested.


9.     Report immediately any injuries incurred in the laboratory to a staff member, Student Health or Emergency Room for the proper treatment.


10.  No radios are allowed in the lab during class hours.


11.  Notify staff member of latex allergies.


While regulations and guidelines are essential for operation of a Gross Anatomy Laboratory, they may not be sufficient to achieve safe laboratory practice. It is the skill, knowledge, and common sense of the individual student that is essential for a safe program. Thus, each student using a laboratory assumes the following responsibilities:

1.     To familiarize themselves with all the rules and regulations concerning laboratory use; noting especially the information provided regarding hazardous or potentially hazardous chemicals used for embalming. Should any hazardous condition come to his/her attention, these should be communicated to a College of Health Professions faculty or the laboratory staff members at once.

2.     To comply fully with all established rules and regulations, and to consult with faculty and laboratory personnel for advice in circumstances where safe practice is in doubt.


























I have read and understand the above responsibilities and agree to observe them in my use of the Gross Anatomy Laboratory. I recognize that I will be studying in an environment containing hazardous or potentially hazardous chemicals, and I am aware of the consent to the potential risks associated with exposure to these materials. The exposure to materials means personal contact with hazardous or potentially hazardous chemicals at levels that are within established eight hour time weighted average.



I, _______________________ have been adequately informed of the guidelines of the anatomy laboratory for my childŐs participation in the Gross Anatomy Laboratory tutorial. I give my consent to allow my child to participate anatomy lab tutorial. My signature also indicates that I can change my mind and withdraw my consent for my child to participate in the workshop at any time without penalty. I will receive a copy of this consent form.

__________________________________________________________________________Name of Child (please print)

__________________________________________________________________________Name of Guardian (please print)

__________________________________________________________________________Relationship to the child

__________________________________________________________________________Signature of Guardian Date