What can I do?

  • Survey collections for fluid preserved specimens. If the fluid is identified, record in the database. If the fluid is unidentified, seek specialist help to identify it, e.g. a natural history conservator. Otherwise, presume unidentified fluids are toxic and flammable.
  • Reduce handling, wear thin nitrile gloves, check for leaks, move objects in a leak proof tray or container.
  • Periodically check the condition of objects. Spirit collections deteriorate and fluids usually evaporate. Seek specialist help if specimens need remediation or topping up.
  • Always avoid exposure. Repeated exposure to formaldehyde or glutaraldehyde may cause long-term damage to health.