Green Initiatives to Improve the Learning Environment in the Human Anatomy Laboratory

Matthew Myers, Lane P. Fortney, Jessica Bergden, Richard Gonzalez, Alberto E. Musto, Natascha Heise

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


PURPOSE: Wetting solutions are used in a cadaveric laboratory to reduce tissue dehydration and to aid with the inhibition of microbial growth. Most solutions contain harsh chemicals that affect students and faculty during academic endeavors. Complaints about phenol-based pungent odors, headaches, nausea, and numbing of tongue, face, and hands have been reported while using the King Wetting Solution. This ultimately impacts the educational mission of the anatomy laboratory. To overcome these issues, the wetting solution was switched to Lysol I.C. in compliance with the Virginia State of Anatomical Program.

METHODS: The King Wetting Solution [B11550] utilized on donors located in our facility was replaced with Lysol I.C. to reduce overall phenol exposure and chemical interactions. Wash bottles were used to directly apply the wetting solution to the donors switching it from an aerosol spray bottle. Periodic short-term (15-min) and long-term (8-h) monitoring was conducted by Environmental Health and Safety to identify exposure levels of faculty members and students. Monitoring occurred at the beginning and end of the dissection course.

RESULTS: Short-term and long-term monitoring yielded acceptable levels of phenol throughout the course. The wash bottles enabled direct application of Lysol I. C. onto the donors preventing aerosolizing and inhalation of the chemical. The use of Lysol I.C. as a wetting solution also contributed to the reduction of harmful exposure, while maintaining good educational integrity of the tissue.

CONCLUSIONS: Switching the King Wetting Solution to Lysol I.C. and the utilization of wash bottles maintained tissue quality and improved the overall learning environment. It reduced the adverse reactions of previously reported side effects. Measure of quality control are ongoing and will continue to align with national and statewide environmental health and safety policies to ensure best teaching practices.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2022
EventInternational Association of Medical Science Educators Annual Meeting, 2022 - Denver, CO, United States
Duration: Jun 4 2022Jun 7 2022


ConferenceInternational Association of Medical Science Educators Annual Meeting, 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityDenver, CO

Cite this